on trees on fence posts on telephone timber
   at the entrance to access roads
      because admit it

you are scheming right now this very
   as these words gather and guide
      how to trespass how to elbow crawl under their

barbed wire hop their
   electric tape barriers beat their
      motion-triggered fast-acting thousand lumen

slink past their strategically placed active
   infrared night-vision
      studying when their

gate opens when they leave for work
   for grocery runs for naps
      in bivouac hammocks

learning from the ways of the black morph
   squirrel who catapults bough to bough
      over their property line into their

maple stands oak stands hickory
   blueberry patch bendy willows
      studying the ways of

the emerald ash borer Agrilus planipennis
   whose larvae tunnel until until
      they make it unnoticed to the other side

Jeff Schiff

Jeff Schiff is the author of That hum to go by, Mixed Diction, Burro Heart, The Rats of Patzcuaro, The Homily of Infinitude, and Anywhere in this Country. Hundreds of his poems, essays, recordings, and photographs have appeared in more than 150 publications worldwide. He teaches at Columbia College Chicago.

1 thought on “They’ve posted their warnings

  1. Reply
    jerry mirskin - February 2, 2023

    Awesome poem! What a knack for naturally poetic vernacular!
    I’ll be saying, blueberry, patch bendy willows all day!

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