The yellowed leaf

Here everything is posted. Signs along The road, on trees, bright orange: DANGER! SLOW! WORK UP AHEAD! And there are growling thuds From chewing highway rigs that dump and throw Earth carelessly in hard neglected piles. The little cove where minnows slipped through fingers Dripping sun is RESTAURANT lined with boats, The owners somewhere lost in bars. Who lingers Near the water finds no frogs or trout. Choked by the oil and sludge, they seek a bay Where flash and glitter of strung lights do not Obliterate the stars of night and day. That was a giant pine that fell and belched Out with its roots a cloud of lonely rust; That was a hawk that, wanting nest, swooped Up again, wings tarnished with road dust. Grandfather chose to homestead here. He wrote It was a special place; for he could hear The trickle of the brook, and often paused Listening for the footfalls of a deer.

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