Downhome Magazine


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Crows sound the alarm
As I saunter up the gravel path.
Crushed stone, spread for weekend tires,
Form twin pebbled paths
Separated by grass shoots and saplings.

"Black bitches!"
(Memories of Nan's voice in my mind make me smile.)
They scream of a trespasser here,
But those who might resent my presence are not here
And the cantankerous treetop calls go unheard
By all but me.

I stroll past the cabin;
Shades down, curtains closed, and
Locked in weekday slumber,
To walk through the evidence of joyful work done
In the weekly hiatus from
Jobs and careers.

Ornamental blooms, strategic
And intentional, patterned, domesticated but deviant,
Exist in an aligned oasis of groomed grass,
Surrounded by acres of feral spruce, birch, and alders.

A few rows of caged corn, cabbage, and carrot,
Appear verdant, though wrought from rocky, acidic soil,
Wrapped in wire to keep interlopers out,
An attempt to keep Autumn's ultimate evidence
Of their labour from woodland creatures.

And I move with intent, avoiding the urge to interact and investigate
As the crows continue their screeches of alarm, and
A brown-grey hare hops with one lackadaisical lop
Into the safety of the surrounding camouflaged space.

The grounds are also sporadically scattered with
Remnants of summer fun:
Vivid plastic toys, fluorescent life preservers, and
Synthetic chairs for stretching bodies in summer's repose:
Alien baubles in a primal hinterland.

I pass a silent sentinel with
Groomed trunk and billowing canopy,
Glimmering emerald against a far backdrop of sapphire.
The clipped turf slopes down,
Brings me to a natural boundary, the plot's farthest edge,
Where I take my place on the water's granite frame
And bait my hook.


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