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Saturday, December 09, 2006


by Earl J. Wilcox

                              In the small tract of land
behind our house where we have lived long enough
to raise grandchildren, developers finally found
enough money to entice the owners to sell. Today,
we totaled up our losses. A staggering number of
nature's perennials no longer have homes: tall hard-
woods and pines, sumac, dogwood, squirrels, genera-
tions of ticks, Canada geese, rabbits, raccoons, deer,
night and day owls, millions of chiggers, Cardinals,
bluebirds, woodpeckers, finches both purple and yellow,
Carolina wrens, dandelions, blackberries, wild strawberries,
mice, rats, copperheads and common garden snakes, happy
sparrows, chickadees,---and our children's woods where
they built playhouses, waded in the streams, got their share
of ticks, reveled in romping in the woods as if they owned
the land themselves. Oh, and this: two turkeys are without a
home. We caught sight of them last week when the tractors
and trucks came to cut and haul the tree, rearrange the land
for condos, chase Carolina's critters out of their natural habitat.

                              We and all the creatures seem to
be adjusting except for the turkeys. Today, they stood in the
middle of a busy road, gawking and waddling around, confused, uncomfortable, lost. What loss have we suffered compared to the homeless.

Earl J. Wilcox founded The Robert Frost Review, which he edited for more than a decade. His poetry was recently nominated for a Pushcart Prize.