You may know the place…

To the most sacred
land I know, for 21 years
you have taught me relationship:

The pricker bush and the clover bud.
The leech and the butterfly.
The tick and the lady bug.

The oak and the gypsy moth.
The lightening bug and the first frost.
The koi and the heron.

The skunk and the skunk cabbage.
The wasp and the bee.
The mosquito and the eater.

I have floated in the wombs of your water,
laughing then diving, to see how far
I can sink my feet into the bottom.

I have lain on your highest roof,
chest to chest with the stars,
breathing deeply into your bosom.

I have knelt before your hives,
and felt the bees brush past me.

I have witnessed you grow fruit,
and break branches in bounty.

I have seen your ponds full and low,
your fields green and brown,
your trees bare and lush.

I have felt your crust wet and dry,
your grasses soft and brittle,
your shade sparse and abundant.

I have listened for the owl,
the chickadee,
the bullfrog,
the coyote.

I have counted the turkey vultures.
I have pet the snakes.
I have caught the toads.
I have flicked the slugs off my shoes.
I have plucked the leeches from my legs.
I have set five turtles free.
I have killed one by accident.

I have eaten the deer from your forest.
I have found the rabbit lying next to its entrails.
I have dislodged the clams from the mud.
I have fiddled with the crawdads.
I have pulled winter fur from the sheep in the spring.
I have fed the llamas from my palm.
I have planted apple trees.

I have gathered with generations.
I have feasted among friends.
I have whispered in your woods.

In your wetlands, I have spotted the beaver.
In your meadow, I have noticed the bobcat.
At your woodstack, I have met the possum.

I have slept before the hearth of your fire.
I have called in each direction.
I have spoken prayers.

I have walked your skin with my grandmother,
calling out the names of the flowers,
and making up our own.