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Nature Poetry

They’re building infrastructure in the woods


There are tractor marks in the rabbit warren,
that sweet spot on the path where the
bittersweet and grapevines arbored the trail,
where the sounds of commerce faded just enough to hear
the rabbits waiting for you to pass.

It’s bulldozed wide, now four-persons across
nevermind the rabbits
or the winter sparrows who found refuge there
or the jays who loved the grapes
or the pileated whose only recourse
is to tap out an S.O.S. on a nearby dying ash

They’re building infrastructure in the woods, you see
plowing back desperate saplings,
piling debris where the wild asters grew
flattening out the turtles’ fertile slopes

laying instead their misplaced traprock paths
and sweet-smelling lumbered bridges
giving us more room to tramp about
another ingress marked by colored flags
nailed deep into the skins of trees

Tell me please…
Will the rabbits find sanctuary before the snow?
Were the turtles buried alive?
Do the trees weep before the hammer strikes?

Poem and photo ©2022, Jen Payne

5 replies on “They’re building infrastructure in the woods”

Jen, Great! You thought about this more than I did, since I thought the wider trails were just not necessary and keeping me from just walking through the woods. It brings to mind that around 5 years ago, there was a wood thrush’s nest where I heard and saw the babies leaving the nest. And, over the winter there was a bad storm and their tree was knocked down. So, the next spring as I was walking by this spot, I saw a wood thrush up near where the nest had been who seemed to be looking down at another wood thrush and they both were just still. I imagined that they were thinking, ” What happened? It was such a great spot.”

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