Reclaimed

by John Grey

Firs and hemlocks reclaim this land for forest. 

An old rusted train track doesn’t deter them. 

The last echo of a whistle died eighty years ago. 

Same with the buzzing of the saws. 

 

Logged out, replanted, throw in a few 

alders, cedars, many years worth of rain,  

and the woods rejuvenate in dampened splendor, 

a trove of mushrooms, maidenhair, slugs, caterpillars, 

 

a feast of insects for the passerines. 

And, to think, nature did all this from memory, 

deep and shared, or maybe it had access   

to the picture-book laid on the floor before me, 

 

a world before loggers, sweat and shouts,  

thick and dark enough for fairy-stories. 

This is an unlikely victory for the wild. 

No less a triumph for my picture-book.

 

John Grey is an Australian poet, US resident. Recently published in Sin Fronteras, Dalhousie Review and Qwerty with work upcoming in Plainsongs, Willard and Maple and Connecticut River Review.

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