Toeing the metal marker drilled in granite, naked granite
over glacial valley, granite scarred by glacial retreat, know
such summits likely formed by fire, farmers riled up by wolves
that pilfered meat and wool, torches brandished, the plan
to smoke the poachers out, kill however many survived. The fires
burned for nights, incinerated even soil, scorched the rock
sterile. Now picture the storms: rain and snow would river down
the slope, erode the lower meadows, the famished sheep sold off
cheap, barns collapsing, clapboard houses collapsing
into their cellars, simplemarked graves and cellar holes
all that remain in the valley, haven a wolf might make
its home if any wolves remained to haunt this hunted land.
Copyright © 2017 Brian Simoneau. Used with permission of the author. This poem originally appeared in The Cincinnati Review, Fall 2017.
Brian Simoneau received a BA from Amherst College and an MFA from the University of Oregon. He is the author of River Bound (C&R Press, 2014), which was selected for the 2013 De Novo Prize, and his poems have appeared in Boston Review, Cincinnati Review, The Georgia Review, RHINO, Southern Indiana Review, and other journals. He lives in Connecticut with his family.
Date Published: 2017-10-16
Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/natural-history-0