Afternoon Poem, August 3, 2016



This patch of woods had survived the development of the town.

Decades ago, it had been part of a farm. But so had every other lot and acre there.

The other land had been cleared and divided and now houses had stood for fifty years

Along every street and avenue

Where once cattle had grazed


But this patch, this odd-shaped plot of fifteen or twenty acres

Had gone the other way

Left alone now for sixty years, what had once been pasture and orchard

Was now wild forest

Where the oaks and sycamores lorded it

Over the ancient apple trees

Like giants over men


Why it happened this way he never knew

There were people in the city who did know, probably

Lawyers, judges, clerks and would-be heirs

Who had argued and watched as some legal doctrine

Or another

Stood in the way of a clear title.


Everyone else’s loss had been his gain

These tall rooms now were his cathedral

His place of solitude.


Copyright 2016

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