Trespass (a haibun)
A circle of stones, charred sticks and broken bottles beneath a sign riddled with bullet holes. We mount a steep incline and the road tightens and twists around leaning hemlocks, gullies, and fallen boulders, until ending in a sea of thistles and witchgrass at the old Poremsky place. A padlock gleams on the barn doors, although the roofÕs collapsed since we picked fiddleheads. The old stillÕs a pile of fieldstones, but the farmhouse still stands.
weathered leather boot
leaning in an open doorway
what are you guarding?
John says his grandfather grew up here: fishing, hunting, foraging – as we are now – listening to stories of field hands. Now itÕs all part of Pond Hill Ranch. The farm, the forest: blue lines on a trail map. We clear cobweb curtains from a broken window.
a piano in an empty room
an orchestra of grapevines
We trade mosquitoes for horse flies, separate paths: puffballs for John, wild blackberries for me. ÒBe careful up there,Ó he says, scanning the knoll beneath the hazy sky, ÒitÕs bear weather.Ó I see only tufts of coarse hair caught in a rusted fence and laugh.
a crow, a lake
a pail of wild blackberries
which holds more darkness?
The bushes are heavy with black jewels, enough for his torte, our pie, a poor manÕs feast, August, bursting sharp and sweet, but a pile of fresh dung in the grass means we have to hurry. Who knows when the next trail ride might bring a troupe of tourists from New Jersey, New York City.
A slab of puffball, pan-seared in butter; chocolate torte with spiked blackberry coulis: we tell ourselves itÕs worth the risk. A single taste of wild things that grow in wild and lonely places growing fewer and farther between.
a song of thieves
a game of thorns
© Antoinette McCormick
Bio : Antoinette McCormickÕs poetry has appeared in The Camel Saloon and The Glass Coin. She is an MFA Creative Writing student at National University.