Few days go by I would not spend in woods
stalking deer to watch them feed
until they stiffen
twitching noses raised
then jump and lope away some safe distance
although from me they have nothing to fear.
But what I must do changed when progress came–
or so it was called–and mowed down the trees
and left me living near rootless people
like my neighbor though kind woman she is
castigates all children roaming the streets:
In my day parents did not spare the rod;
we cleared the land and tended our gardens
allowed no spare time to waste on mischief
not like these hoodlums running around
loud obnoxious thugs.
Yes parents should do better, I observe.
Perhaps we all should as far as that goes–
etiquette toward all things
and places respected for their own sakes.
No doubt there is cause for worry.
It’s the mongolism of our world,
she adds, holding her yapping lapdog,
a breed nature showed no point to create.
I could not have agreed more, I tell her
though she misconstrued my slight shifty grin.
And nightfall came soon after we parted.
With Shakespeare on my lap I paused to think
then noted through the window shiny lights
across the street
her house against the dark
like mine within the dark
but just the same
in the sense that Nature’s way eludes us
no more no less than we evade its way
unless the nature of Nature extends
leeway and grace until freedom means loss.
By Richard Yost