Cover photo by Frank Magalhaes
Future WildernessTeetertown Preserve, Mountain Farm Section
Something there is that doesn't love a wall —Robert Frost
Above Califon, the timeless blue
of a crisp April morning gleams
on the pond at Mountain Farm.
Higher still along the rocky slope,
the trail enters the woods, then travels
down the edge of what my map names
Future Wilderness. I've come to find
this place where the future returns the past.
As the path parallels a farmer's fence,
the ruined mounds snake among trees.
The old neighbors, good or otherwise,
are gone, and the cows too.
No one has made a friendly game
of wall-mending in eighty years.
Each freeze and thaw has had its way.
No pines or apples grow, but oaks,
sycamores, beech, maples
and the delicate white dogwoods
have crossed the fallen stones to take back
ground cleared long ago. The woods
are rich again in shadows, riotous
with birdsong and the scurry of animals—
deep in the mischief of spring.
Without our care to wall it out or in,
the land relives itself and the wild returns
from a time before our fathers
ever spoke of fences.