Oneida 

Red-haired pine needle paths dodge roots and rocks,
Where gulls guard sunwhite crayfish bones,
Up and past the green lagoon pool,
Into deep deadwood shorn by deer trails,
Worn and pocked by passing bear paws.

Motor boats scratch the surface, waving to shore
Roaring and quick,
While here, the stillness bounces back,
Covering nervous noise from a human day.

Refugees land briefly,
Overstep the walk with scarred faces
To address the cabin walls,
Proclaim eternal friendships,
And hope to hold an ephemeral vow for another day.

But at night, the loon cooly shapes the shore,
Echoing the dead voices of ancient shale
Shaved by each generation who try
To cling a while still to this island refuge.

Vello Ruus


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