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Not That You Asked

                                    David Eye


All the farm boys with tractors in their veins,
and I couldn’t back a wagon worth a damn.
Jackknife after jackknife. But horticulture
(field study, color plates, Latin names in viny script)
I knew my way around. Pines—loblolly, scrub—
classed by needles-per-cluster, shape of cone.
The sweet, sharp scent of sun on dry needles,
I run this rugged Catskill trail, dodge
roots and scree, and my mind trips back
into the Carolina woods where you said
“Even the creek has an Om. Listen.”
If you were here I’d still run alone,
your frame not made for rough terrain,
ballet muscles native to the stage.
Around the house, white ash, shagbark
hickory, sugar maples with their easy roots,
and a lone white pine. Not that you would ask,
but wildflowers this time of year are mostly
goldenrod, chicory. Before you cut them,
I’ve heard you have to know their names.


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