The forest waits each time we go away
And knows itself again when we return.
Each branch on every tree has either died
Or grown new leaves or limbs, as if to stay
The same, above the ground grown wild with ferns,
Was once considered, but never once tried.
The pileated woodpecker's square holes
Have gone dark gray; his maniac laughter
Fades into the leaf rustle and only after
We leave returns to the silence we stole.
The river's deep and can be treacherous.
Its trout will not be caught, its otter trapped.
Its odd meanderings cannot be mapped.
The river forest waits, but not for us.