Tom Stock

Frostweed's yellow flowers
Hover above wiry Pennsylvania sedge meadow,
Oak tree bases host green pincushion moss clumps.
Wood thrushes call cell phone notes,
Wind gusts in pitch pines are rushing brooks.
On forest floor, I see signs
Where wild turkeys scratched for acorns.
Tussock grass reflects on a Peconic River eddy,
Bracken fern splits into lace-embroidered doilies.
Gray tree frogs grump at midday,
Worm snake* noses about in the compost pile,
Pine needle tips poke out in nestled snow clumps.

I fear: threat of Lyme disease from tick bites,
West Nile Virus from mosquito bites,
A major forest fire that would turn all to ash.
Annoying deer flies dive bomb my head, bite and run;
Fearless mosquitoes disturb evening on the deck,
Briar thorns cut arms and legs on long bushwhacks.
Plus there's a possibility of getting lost.

Summer heat, drought leaves me listless, drowsy.
Cold, dreary winters of darkness and isolation
Wear me down.

                *The pinkish worm snake, growing to about 12 inches in length, has extremely small
                eyes. This is because it is a fossorial snake, which means it lives underground feeding
                on invertebrates such as worms, millipedes, sow bugs, etc.

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