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

scaling silence


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

buzzing locusts.




© 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.