First Walk Through the Copse
I kick at the fallen oak
to see if anything lives in the rot.
A centipede rushes out,
flies from the carrion raccoon
land on my shoe. The cows 
of the Mennonites—
black and white like their laundry
on the line. 
Milk-white water in the stills,
the lake full so far this year
sediment of leaves at its edges.
I think in quotes and fashionable
asides when in the city.  But
I’ve brought nothing with me
to these forty acres.  I’ll buy 
what I need when I need it. 
I take up two sticks,
one fits into the circle of an old dog
vertebrae, the other’s a vine 
light as air in my hand.
As one flies through fire, 
the other swims.
Thinking back to that first walk
around your parents’ farm, I was between 
knowing too much and knowing very little, 
two months before my thirtieth year.
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