there where the hemlock’s needles spiral
up, up, the conifer in a copse of spruce,
I saw the pink orchid, the lady-slippers swaying
like lanterns to my feet along the stone-staircase, too,

there where a fence once was, between friends, lay
shale and blue sandstone shattered about,
covered in cold, clean, wet-sediment promises
I peered through the teal fog’s hovering vow,

there where the Delaware wound round and rumbled
more like a creek than the claim her name bore,
the mourning dove hushed as the sun sank to sleeping
in the cradle of the Catskills I hear shame no more.

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