Groves & Thickets

Rain in an Oak Forest by Ivan Shishkin

Groves & Thickets

Suburban woods are managed affairs,
They’re planted, pruned and promenaded –
Golden Autumns, verdant Junes,
And countless Sunday afternoons.
They’re so unlike the home of bears,
These avenues and picnic glades –
With squirrels aplenty, and walkers of dogs,
With no trace of litter, or windfallen logs

But not these woods, these woods are damp,
With only four diff’rent sorts of tree,
And they grow too close, half-hidden in mosses,
And crowd-out the path, or have fallen across it.
These woods are wild, they’re stunted and rampant,
They’re muddy and scrappy and forestry-free –
Home to gnats and rabbits and crows,
A bark-brown field where anarchy grows.

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