I have listened
and in these woods there is
no arguing about the layers
sifting to settle in their own time.
No jousting against the resurrection
of mosses and lichens from these deadfalls,
no lament for the broken
rosary of tiny shelf fungi draping the length
of shattered branch. There is no shouldering aside
of sycamore by ash; chinquapins heaped
on fans of cottonwoods, splay of pawpaw.
Scrolls, the lot of them, veined messengers
with stories of the mountain lion who leaves
shredded sentences blowing from the cedar’s
trunk, flung across the moon.