Places shape us if we let them, like a dug den
    at the woods’ edge would define the hog’s
    winter under maple tree roots, poison ivy
    wrapping its trunk at ground’s access points.

    How much life can be eked out of this place
    when boundaries throttle the explorer’s
    spirit before one has started his exploration?
    Not in my backyard, you don’t. Verboten.

    There is poison in the air, water, dirt, or fire
    from the bellies of the earth to the fusion
    chambers of atomic energy plants; death
    in coal-fired stations belching black smoke
    to ozone distances, drought in global warming.

    Seas gobble up atolls and resort isles; diseases
    even sprout from infirmaries, and hospitals
    become hospices for the dying and the dead.
    Why must digging the dirt out of a den
    start with the handicap of poison ivy?

    Why plant genius and courage in a man
    when his unbridled enterprise and struggle
    can only lead to disasters that make burial
    grounds his enduring, grandest monuments?

    There is fresh dirt on the ground: An Occupier
    will be buried among the tents in the park.
    He could not restart his life; he took it instead.
    Like that itch would do the groundhog in, I bet.

    — Albert B. Casuga

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