if I had a field

If I had a field,
I would not ask for much.
Just so by so by so…

Fences, side on each,
but not contrived.
Along the ell of the dusty path,
evergreens tall and dense.
Shelter for scared drivers in winter’s wrath.
At right angles to the pines,
a long long hedge of beech,
kept in tender trim.

At true north, a vine clad wood,
ivy underfoot and climbing high.
Predators and prey.
Sharp eyed owls,
ravens plotting.
Rising scent of pan sized mushrooms for my plate.
Barbed wire long buried.
Good neighbors that way.

The east wall would not be a wall,
but a salamanders’ creek.
Hinted at, (to one approaching, eyes shaded with a long hand)
by a stand of bulrush and devil’s paintbrush.
Summer’s breed of bugs, food for the lizard-like,
messengers to the flowers of fire.

Walk would I, only,
in this sleepy time of life.
Nothing would I take,
save the proffered mushrooms,
filling my canvas bag.
Or, on a day, perhaps a wild turkey
from the bold and black flock.

And, when I die,
please,
do not burn me up.
Put me, rather, in a canvas sling.
Even an old tent, fallen into disuse.
Prepare my place by the bulrush bank.
Put me in, close, so close, to my Earth.

Bring with you a seedling of mountain ash,
for my field has none.
At the close of day, plant it well, if you can.
This, my marker, will show out where I lie,
and what I loved.

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