Under the tall cascaras and the alders
I limp to the creek on shells of sodden gold; no one
peels these trees but God and ravenkind.
The knees and the hips of my jeans are wet:
I've been nosing in the bushes like a truffling pig,
looking for disregarded, not yet ruined things.
It was just yesterday, or some few centuries ago,
the earl king came riding through these woods,
and saw your lowered gaze, and took your offering
of painfully gathered herbs: a prudent soul
is careful of kings, but also of ladies with sharp eyes
who linger where the strong root fingers tangle
in the bright hair of the brook. No more.
Neither he nor you, nor even I, for long,
will walk at large on the creeksides
in this new-made world of time.