An Abandoned New Hampshire Farm


So many stories, this forest buried,
then published a new tale,
thick and green, barely acknowledging
the ones who took up cultivation
with the tools at hand,
in soil as thin as mule-skin,
in weather crotchety and cruel.

What is it to the oaks, the evergreens,
that you cleared pasture
with no more than a strong back,
two horses and a blade,
that crops grew as stunted
as the tree line of the Russian Steppes,
and you, your family,
lived in near starvation
until you finally left the land.

The pages now are deep with roots,
solid as trunks, spreading their branches,
thickening their brush.
The forest has a long memory.
The old world has crowded out the new.


An Abandoned New Hampshire Farm

John Grey is an Australian poet, US resident. Recently published in Front Range Review, Studio One and Columbia Review with work upcoming in Naugatuck River Review, Abyss and Apex and Midwest Quarterly.
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