Razing the Woodlot
Vincent R. Murphy
stands the grove our tenant plans to fell.
homesteaders who planted this tree claim
North Dakota when the Dust Bowl came.
foursquare farmhouse is a roofless shell;
tended shelterbelt, a den for fox
dumpground for machinery and rocks.
woodlot seeds its pigweed in our loam,
windstorms topple poplars on the field;
for a few wasted acres' yield
spare the vixen and her cubs their home
leave unburied these decaying beams
teach us the temerity of dreams.
The Deed of Gift, Story Line Press,
1998. Reprinted by permission of the author
and Story Line
Press, Ashland, Oregon.