Sunrise tree

World's End State Park (PA)

The park is suspended in that moment
After departure when the semblance
Of presence persists until questions
Unfurl themselves. No one knows who
Left us. The shapes of moccasins
Rinsed from the sand long ago; Boy
Scouts absconded with the arrowheads.

The smoke rising over hamburgers makes
No sound even to the sharpest eye
And all ambiguity has been removed
From the owl hoot, fox bark, wolf howl.
"This was their borne, temple, supermarket
And playground,1I father explains to son.
This was their universe, our park.

What bashful dullards camp here now.
Not the wild dandies who once lived about.
Flaunting feathers in their raving hair,
Bear-claw beads, fish-scale sequins,
Elk-horn amulets, they were natural
Monuments-in-motion to the life
Sacrificed to their longevity.

It did no good to dam up their stream,
Where once young boys in deer-skinned
Feet dipped quick their light thirsts,
Thrust tongues through the scattering
Shadows of infinity separating
The room of warm day from
That of its cold reflection.

They filled their thirsts with upside-down
Trees and their own rippling faces.
Damming it up did no good at all:
Drinking water is too cold for swimming
And the Mongolian conjugations, washed
From their tongues long ago,
Have evaporated into the air.

The doors of the brilliant mind creak
And the chains of consciousness rattle:
To wander aimlessly in a haunted country,
Beneath a lingering Indian curse,
And visit nature in a museum,
Here at World's End.

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