Forest isn’t synonymous
with wood, since English
forests don’t have to have trees.
Does that offend you? Beware
of Old French, the source not only
of etymologies but rank
or rancorous confusion, not
compatible with contusions.
After two days of snow and ice
the landscape looks too gray and bruised
to answer the simplest questions.
Before the forest—defined as
wild land set aside for hunting—
moves any closer, flexing its boughs,
we must scrape away driveway ice
so we can move about freely
with candor and lack of want.
We can’t let the forestam silvam
hem us in. Too much Latin
can choke an adult or a child
lacking a good dictionary.
Yesterday watching the snow flop
from the roof I thought I detected
irony in simple gravity,
a conspiracy with entropy.
All those y sounds mating without
a sprig of phonetic conscience.
As if reading Muldoon’s poetry
could stopper the oncoming moment
when everything goes blank forever
and you lean over the coffin and sigh
or laugh or look stoic as a sheep.
The forest, really woodland
with seasonal hunting allowed,
shrugs off the bone-warping cold
and waves at the creamy sunlight
as if soliciting a bribe.
About the Author
William Doreski has published three critical studies and several collections of poetry. His work has appeared in many print and online journals. He has taught at Emerson College, Goddard College, Boston University, and Keene State College. His most recent books are Water Music and Train to Providence, a collaboration with photographer Rodger Kingston.