Friday, September 15, 2023

"New American Forest" by Laura Cronk

New American Forest

This is the new American forest.
You seduce me with the food you gather,
I seduce you with the food I gather.
We don’t waste. What we are building
benefits from each choice piece
as well as from each salvageable piece.

We’ve come here through the groves
of hemlock dying with pests.
We walk through the standing dead into living trees,
through the forest and farther until we reach the stream.
We follow as it gathers. We walk to the falls.

We were mad to be in contact with each other.
Now we are in contact with each other.
We are in contact with branches and leaves,
air, sun, with the darkness at night.

As we walk the narrowing trails,
pushing back thorny branches,
everything becomes denser, darker, more in the middle,
less beginning, less end, more lost clung together,
more rising on wobbly legs.

We slept in the open at first,
now we make a place for ourselves where we go.
I know that I could swell with you, but
you could also swell with me.
Look, we’ve actually become thinner together,
taking what we need, saving even more.

Source of the text - Laura Cronk, Having Been an Accomplice.  New York: Persea Books, 2012, page 26.

TJB: Thinning idyll. In short, neatly-trimmed, minimalist phrases, the poet gives us poetry as an act of deforestation, such that less is more.

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