I never thought I'd love these woods.
The tall, straight pines are unfamiliar, breaks
In boughs so open that the sun
Can break on through, the flowing gold which makes
A broadleaf canopy spread out
Here under skies of needles. Ground builds dark
And thick in leaves, but thicker still
In yellow needles, a lacework of bark
With stripes of tan in mottled spines
Of yellow brown. I thought the broadleaf trees
Were forests, were my home, a place
Of cozy darkness, shadows, and wide seas
Of leaves above and lying on
The forest floor, a second canopy
Of May-apples lay far below
The first. This forest is like Semele,
Is pregnant to burst into flame
At every lightning stroke. The old wet woods
Were full of well-known flowers, safe
As all the homes in my old neighborhood,
As all appearance seems to be.
But now I find these pine forests so new,
So different from what I have known –
These forests growing, dying with kudzu.