I’ve head it’s important to know the lay of the land, how things work, where to go,
and the arrangements of all that lies on the terrain.
When you set out on a new journey, you want to know
what the distant, foreign earth offers to a stranger,
convenience stores, gas stations, rest stops, restaurants, hotels, visitor centers,
and the habits of the people inhabiting the new land.
In a forest, the land sprawls at will, its own patterns and logic.
The denizens of the trees, owls, woodpeckers, aphids, and bark beetles,
fauna of the forest floor, deer, slugs, frogs, salamanders, and hares,
inhabitants beneath the soil, earthworms, moles, nematodes, mites and rotifers,
they know how the land lies, but does the land know me?
Mother earth swallows me just as she devours the sky; she harbors my scent,
tastes my fear, sweats my nightly dread, sees the heart beating underneath,
her brown arms’ embrace taking me home, the cellular root, where we began.