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  • Three deer,
    ears up,
    wander up the field.
    I watch them as the coffee water boils.
    40 years ago it was special to see a deer,
    now fruit trees and gardens are fenced.

    We walked East Neck Cove yesterday,
    Where the soft drops dappled the swells.
    Underfoot, the rocks,
    slick with rain glowed.
    They told their ancient crystal stories
    to the waves who rolled them,
    all long polished and water rounded.
    Along the shore
    the sod of cranberry and fern and moss
    covered like a curtain
    the clay and gravel gashes
    rent by higher tides,
    and the trees leaned helplessly,
    the soil stripped away beneath them,
    roots exposed.
    I thought of Winnie the Pooh
    and how he set out sticks
    to mark the flood’s advance.

    After a time we scrambled up to meet the path
    as it wound through woods all lichen hung
    and loud with long riffs of drips
    as the wind played the branches far above.
    Below all was puddles and mosquitos.
    In a clearing,
    pushing through a tangle of wiry grasses,
    a golden orange clump of chanterelles.
    We picked three and left two.
    Early, we thought,
    but it was a warm spring they say
    and now the rains.

    Far, far to the north and south the signs are so very much clearer,
    dramatic shifts,
    glaciers retreat,
    ice shelf vanishes.
    Here it may be
    that the signs are subtler
    but clamor no less for attention.

    The wisdom of our age,
    from an unlikely source,
    as prophecies may often be,
    There’ll be some winners and some losers.

    The old union song comes to mind,
    Which side are you on boys? Which side are you on?
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