Woods in the time by Janet MacFadyen

photo by Steven Schmidt

Shutesbury resident and Straw Dog member Janet MacFadyen is author of two poetry collections and three chapbooks. Recent work appears or is forthcoming in Scientific American, CALYX, Q/A Poetry, The Blue Nib, and Sweet. She held a Fine Arts Work Center fellowship, and is managing editor of Slate Roof Press.

Woods in the time 

What do you know, the wind — that airy ocean tosses the frothy heads of pines. The nonhuman calls itself to order — wood gnats swampwater. I didn’t know we could come back here, so unexpected and alive, not like the news of constant dying. I could say we hadn’t been paying attention, we were lost and not ourselves in the damp lungs of sky and needle. The distant whine of machinery, the path we were on, both leading to an unsatisfying conclusion. And some kind of meandering discussion overhead, between the trees with their large ears, their expanding hearts. We could mimic them listening inward, opening outward, if we stand here long enough, if the center holds.