the lodge beside the lake
the dam that made the lake
this is a good place for us
they had said
and settled in to build
unconcerned about property lines or
in fact knowing anything of
property or lines
they just got to work
drowning grasses and
acquainting trees with wet feet as

the spring flows and the dam holds
the gray heron lifts off
above the hidden multitude of frogs
each one twanging its own tuneless rhythm
not trying to
not meaning to
coming together
where it just sounds right

out of which flies a red-winged blackbird
making for the branches of the tree
standing aloof
in the middle of a reflected blue sky

all of it because they had said
this is a good place for us


6 thoughts on “Crossroads

  1. So often we think about the negative impact of humans on an environment. It is nice to think about humans intervening in a way that actually improves and restores an ecosystem.

    • Well, you know, I was actually thinking of the beavers at the Pennypack, a couple of summers back, and I had to re-read the poem from the point of view that you had, and I really like that perspective. You know, you are so right, the default position is that humans spoil everything. And as far as beavers go, most farmers and people on the land feel the same way about them – they alter the landscape, chew up trees, and generally go about their own way in a determined fashion to make the environment what they need it to be. And yet beavers improve water health (they stir it up and get more oxygen into it); they create rich environments for wildlife; and so on. People can have that effect too, if only they will do it. You have opened my eyes to my own writing.

      • Ha! I totally missed that it was about beavers – or animals generally. That is down to my tired brain and not your writing. I absolutely understand the whole beavers in the ecosystem thing. Beaver had been extinct in Scotland for quite some time when they were reintroduced to the area in which we lived. Some people were excited by the idea, others embraced it but with some skepticism, and other people were dead set against it. It was very controversial and contentious. I fell into the camp of believing they were doing a good job of improving the ecosystem around the loch and that reintroduction was, therefore, a worthwhile endeavor.

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