Tree and stone, earth and grass,
among them we must ask,
‘what is our place, what is our task?’
Stumblebums, we lack the bounding grace
of deer, the keening hawk, the tree limb
turned by wind and sun—we detract,
I fear, so out of touch, so out of step
in the earnest dance around us.
Stepping lightly as a boy in US Keds,
gun in hand, I left my marks for dead
that fed the buzzards trailing me
in thermal glide, for Red Tails watching
from the oak tops for the wounded,
for the cripples crawling desperately—
and I thought I’d found my place
where the wild could reason
and adapt to trust and think
enough of me to follow closely.
And now, it seems, our young hunt their own kind!