Muddy waters hide creatures beneath. We know this because
Turtles spy on us from nearby, black heads breaking the surface.
Each of us, book in hand, sits and reads. We were here last night
When a knot of toads and an army of frogs barked at us, each other.
Bats frantic twilight butterflies.
I think of Modern Love, egoist that I am. I drink the pale drug of
Silence, a junky. Forty-one and tongue-tied I have words only
Of quotation. Thoreau. Nature exhibits herself to us by turns and
The ice in your pint jar of water falls forward in a clump
Against your lip as you drink.
No one disturbs us here, although I did hear voices—over there,
By the waterfall. I circle words on the page. ‘Mystics’, ‘depths’,
‘Under’. I etch marginalia: “The holiness of what ought to be?”
Warm in the sun I shut the book. Walk? Yes. We walk in Love’s
Deep Woods. I would talk, but the weight of my bag, with our books,
And the warmth of the air, shorten my breath.
From where this long silence, this big quiet? Who set this watch
On my lips? Will no angel roll back the stone? What seek the speaking
With the dead? The tongue no man can tame time has.
We were here last night. We are here today. We are walking, now
Past the waterfall and the knee-high longleaf pines. Trees that have
Evolved fire proof. The Barn Trace our path and we end among stones
Once a walkway. The house is gone but the barn stands. Silence
Is broken by passing cars. We are out of the woods.