The path down to the creek is slick with
smooth, damp husk of fall beneath the early thaw
of spring. I slip between two dogwoods braced
against a boulder, turn and listen
as the wind picks up, rattles through the
and settles down into the cut between
the hills. Below, I hear water
rushing over stones, a slow, uneven
rhythm, shifting through the pull and haul
of the gravel-bottomed bed. I cross
the path and hike along the ridge
until I stand beneath the nest the buzzards
built just inside the rim of a shallow cave.
Across the gap, a tractor tills the greenó
long, dark lines that trace a rising curve,
marking edges of a border I canít see.
The nest is empty now, but last spring,
they came up to the ridge, black monks perching
in the pines, and watched as you forgot,
your name, and mineóforgot until no more
Could be forgotten, until you looked
and only saw the buzzards lined along the limbs.
And now I scrape and dig and rake
this ridge to bury the nest we found.
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