Put your hand on the soil-
you remember how I showed you?-
hear it’s voice. Do you feel its memory
of trees, the longing
for shade and dancing coins of sunlight
and deep roots singing their charms
of mutual hospitality?
I loved those trees, their shared strength
their afternoon whispers, their indrawn
breath in the hour before dawn.
But the high fields failed
and acorns are no food for cattle.
I cleared those trees, oaks
red and white and black, pulled
their stumps to make this fertile plain.
It was not the labor that was hard,
but saying goodbye.
My trees are gone, and though corn
and clover are on the plain,
milk is on the cows,
children are at the hearths,
I am weary and hunger for shade.