shadow

From the turnpike: New England woods

From highways engineered across the hills, woodland conceals all marks of men, until, with trees November-bare, the first light snow reveals where old roads went, lifetimes ago, hard-worn in rocky ground by weight of wheels. Was that a wagon track that linked hill farms to town? Road to a quarry worked out years ago? Or was it once itself the highway, post road, or The Pike? Somewhere a county courthouse has old deeds that show whose right-of-way it was, where townsmen set the bounds. Now lines are etched by snow. Old paths abandoned, gone until the first snow falls and maps the wooded hills: chalk on brown paper, lightly drawn.

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