In Deed

Green slope in forest on mist day

My initials, name, and payment prove I own it,
this steep hill thick with laurel, pine, and logs.
Covenants say I may float a dock, let it stretch
in murky, mirrored water beyond the sandy bank.

I can cut the beeches that block the view and pave a path
to water’s edge, build a fence to guard what’s mine
but was not mine until I signed and paid. The deed is done,
the acres owned—but mine in trust, a burden or delight.

Whitetail and black bear tread here. Bass and muskie
dart about the dock brackets. The Blue Ridge wedges
into the horizon, and a lone eagle claims the sky.
Such land is for tending: the owner is the plot.


Poem by Nancy Martin-Young.

A former editor, reporter, and college educator, she (writing as Nancy Young) is the author of the Something in the Dark Series: Seeing Things, Hearing Things, and Sensing Things, et in Raleigh’s historic Oakwood neighborhood Her new Regency novel, Wit and Prattles, is due out in 2021. Her novels have earned awards from the RWA. Nancy’s also a prize-winning poet. Other works include a poetry collection and dozens of poems, articles, and short stories that have appeared in journals, magazines, newspapers, and anthologies. For more info, visit her website,, and check out her novels’ Pinterest pages!