Close to its chimney remains, a rock pile is still
being built, word-by-word, by Thoreau’s
foragers — stones painted with lofty quotations by
Emerson, with lifespans of the long-ago gone,
with squirreling graffiti on the red hearts of young lovers.
In my hand, not one chosen lodestone to add
to this heap. In my pocket, no black-capped marker.
I entered this forest, circled
without knowing what the script
on striped chipmunks crossing my path
could have told me : here is a clearing
requiring lines more essential than
timber burning on a hearth, more lasting
than wooden desks or chairs. Or homemade pencils.
by Therese L. Broderick
(An artist’s statement about this poem appears as the first comment.)