Lise Latreille ,  Ugly River  (color photograph)

Lise LatreilleUgly River (color photograph)

In a clearing in the woods at 6 a.m.
under a single maple or oak or elm
it doesn’t matter which
or maybe it was noon

and the sun was streaming through the branches
bare save for the green buds
about to explode
and I am contained in that supernatural glow.

Call it late morning.
Call it April.
Would it be different if I knew the species?
Or knew the birds
there must have been birds

and chipmunks and field mice
skittering through decades of fallen leaves
and branches and trees
and the wet smell of decay

that a hundred years ago
might have been cleared and planted
or just left for pasture
and still again might.


Fleming Meeks