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Grays Best

County Line Road Print E-mail

A poem.
by F. Daniel Rzicznek
from the August 2008 issue


I could tell you to turn where the gravel veers, up to the
steel gate someone rammed their way through years back. I
could tell you to follow the deep ruts on foot, to duck under
the half-fallen trunks of maple and oak suspended like arms
in sleep. I could tell you where the path snakes, where the
woods give way to weeds and meadow before rising again
like a cloud of ink ahead of you. I could tell you when to
watch for what isn’t a new trailhead, but an opening in the
branches, one of a thousand mouths along the forest’s
edge. I could tell you that if you travel with a dog or
something heavy on your back, or both, to mind the
flattened wire fence half way in. I could tell you to head left
when the wooded knob of a hillside emerges against the
less and less black blueness of sky. I could tell you to climb,
I could tell you to descend the steep bank with care. If you
have insecurities, I could tell you to listen for your dog
splashing in the water below you. If you have fear, I could
tell you to expect the rifle-crack of a beaver’s tail as he
dives for his den. If you have confidence, I could tell you to
count the geese as they swing tree-high over the alley of
water, silent as the broadening halo of morning by which
each script-sharp detail of wing will be revealed to you. I
could tell you to linger here forever, and want no more.


F. Daniel Rzicznek is the author of a book of poems, Neck of the World (Utah State University Press). He
teaches English composition at Bowling Green State University, and fishes and hunts across northern Ohio.

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