I live in the woods, on the backside of a mountain, down a dirt road. There is a cat. The cat is not a mouser. There are mice. I will probably have to get a mouser. I have dogs. The dogs keep the deer out of the tulips. They have personality, like all dogs. They get along with the cat. But warily.
I love the silence of the country which is not silence at all but the sound of leaves, of branches breaking, of critters’ grunts and yips, trills and whistles. In the morning, the sun washes up the hollow and the horizon blues up and lights the scraggly oaks blundering into daylight. At sunset, the heat goes out of the mountains in a hurry and the fireflies—what there are left of them—rise up out past the gravel pile where the forest begins in a tangle of kudzu, brush and third-growth trees where humans are scarce.
I am just a hiccup in the trees, an interruption to the fox and possum, deer and raccoon. I squat out south of town, near where a committee of vultures rests, hidden, waiting to do the city’s clean up. Rumors blow into the leaves here and the news gets around, therefore, I know some things, but also I don’t know some things. Whatever happens, I have a strange turn of mind. I have written more political poems since the fall of 2016 than in the previous three decades. Bless us all as we hang on in the semi-quiet woods.