My Woods

by Julia Fonte

sing with streams,
mingle with meadows
and surround a marsh
with silence.
Understory still sleeps
in the earth’s attic beneath a quilt
of soggy leaves.
My woodland is nurtured
by whatever the skies bestow
and by what it sucks through its roots,
like a child with a straw,
as I saunter on paths worn over two hundred years.
Before that, this lushness was pathless,
though light feet may have passed through
without a thought
of ownership.
My woods are not mine after all.
They are ancient and independent,
allowing me to live
exactly as I wish.

Long Listed Poem 

Poetry Society of Vermont, 2024 The Mountain Troubadour