A house on stilts in the middle of the woods,
A dirt road leading over a hill to reveal salmon pink slats
In a sea of pine green; a haven built by children of the gulf
That were moved to migrate to the trees.
Frogs serenade on long summer nights
From a never-clear pond that hides the rushing lives beneath.
Water thick with life-giving algae, a young girl rips out with sticks
To create concoctions of her imagination in a rusty bucket.
Every morning the sound of seed hits metal on dead needles,
Mallards clamor to swallow their fill while red-hooded birds
Swoop down for their share.
They congregate to sing hymns of the neon-orange that rises to greet their scarlet wings.
Seasons change, the cardinals fall asleep.
The pond freezes the frogs, the mallards have flown.
But there is a cast-iron hearth where the gulf children are warm,
And their woodland daughter gazes into its magic flames.
She has grown and flown now, a wild heart in a concrete forest.
The cardinals have followed her, and when they cross her path,
They sing the familiar hymns of her youth and she is reminded of
A house on stilts in the middle of the woods.
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