You had to wade through the tall grass.
There were snakes, but they kept to themselves.
Chiggers were more of a concern.
Two cherry trees: one white and one red
Stood like a welcoming city gate.
Perched on the highest stout branch
You could see like a cardinal.
On the other side of that wall of leaves,
The row of apple trees.
Red, green, red, crab, red, green.
Behind the trees were the massive brambles.
You cut a tunnel with gardening shears.
In the center was a room of sorts.
Furniture made of decomposing logs
Much of them from an apple tree ended
By an electrical storm.
The rabbits hid in the accusing
Fingers of the undergrowth
Until the neighborhood dogs discovered
There was shade to be had.
The ground was grassless and hard-packed
From the dogs and the wolves and the coyotes
The crows rooted through the fallen fruit.
As the daylight folded in on itself
Your eyes adjusted – all day spent in that
Shade distorted the existence of a sun.
On the way back, the snakes were more of a worry.
They never bit, but they rattled warnings to
By the time the moon was fully on the clock
You’d arrive back at the house,
Nearly a mile from home.
~ James Benger
James Benger is husband, writer and student. His work has been featured in Comma,Splice, Hoarding Words, Kiosk, Runaway Pony and To the Stars Through Difficulties. His ebook, Flight 776 is available from most digital retailers.He lives in the Kansas City area with his wife.