A clear-water rill threads over black earth,
salaal, bracken and sword fern
crowding thick from either side.
Overhead, the canopy, where evergreens
mesh with maples, a friendly clash of greens,
and bluejays scream, crows caw,
chickadees chicka dee-dee.
You don’t like it here.
There’s nowhere clean to sit and
there is mud on your shoes.
You will go no further.
It does no good to point out the salmonberry flowers;
you point out the devil’s club.
I say trillium, you say nettle,
I say huckleberry, you say
let’s go back to the car.
But look, I almost add, there’s a bleeding heart.
I don’t. You won’t see it anyway.