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i miss the woods of my youth
and the enchantments contained therein
adventure and errantry fighting gods
and monsters with the self taught
woodcraft of an imagination
gone native

i miss its stream and the
chuckling bubble of the crawdads
nipping at my beagle’s paws
as she raced through the
rasping reeds after another
elusive scent

i miss its dust and moss
the faded lichen and burdocks
catching and refusing to release
the vital youth laughing his way
through the undergrowth of
their memory

i miss the woodpecker’s knock
and the chides of the squirrel
whose foraging i rudely
interrupted while scaling
hickories and sycamores for a
birdseye view

i miss the call of my mother
echoing across my world and
calling me home. i miss ignoring
it for a last half hour
of a summer evening’s
intrepid possibilities

i miss coming home and stripping outside
to have the mud sprayed off with a hose
a daily baptism back into civilization
a child again until tomorrow and the
next chapter in the life of a
growing boy