On the Unceded Land of Abenaki

When I look at the fence I built, four-feet tall,
as the dogs romp, I worry about after,
when we are gone. What care embraces land?
The turkeys and the deer, the bear
who smashed my birdfeeder find
their way over, but fences have a way
of getting in the way. I’ve cut rusted barbed wire
out of a fallen tree in the pasture.

This land wasn’t made for divvying up
in rectangles; once it knew
itself as wide open as sky, as a forest
and scrapes of rock the glaciers left.
Under my metal fence the land still
knows where the spring is that is home
to toads each May, where the turkey
scrapes at dirt for a dust bath. Where pines
branch out year after year. Where the sugar maple
fell, and now where the porcupine makes a hole
in community with rabbits and chipmunks.
I pray this piece of somewhere renews
itself again and again and again
when I leave forever with the gates open
and the bear returns, welcomed.


Poem by Tricia Knoll

To journey, to come round. Tricia Knoll has done this. Her work appears widely in journals, anthologies, and five collected books. Website: triciaknoll.com