Bottomland Hardwoods


fruiting turkey tail

Bottomland Hardwoods

the leaves
crunched beneath
our feet
as we kept pace
with the afternoon sun.

a sharp call,
like a tropical bird,
echoed across the forest.

we froze
for reasons we didn’t know.

“pileated woodpecker,” i said.

and then, we continued on…

small things
caught my eye
like the glossy red dogwood berries
glimmering on the ground
of matte, brown leaves.

…coyote scat
full of small bones
and tangled hair.

we walked to a cold creek:
paw prints,
roots exposed
with trees dangling on edge.

gleaming, wet stones,
petrified wood,
clay ochres
that you could rub on your skin
to feel something primitive
and wild.

a crow the next time.
sounded like he tattled on someone.
maybe us.

mushrooms emerged from
cold, late-fall logs
ready to turn
rot into life.

when we stepped,
into the bottomland hardwoods
i said,

“see how many pines there are?
not many.
not many at all.
this is what
central Mississippi forests
used to look like.”

we knew we were in a special place.
beech trees reminded us.

and then,
goldenrod gone to seed
reached out at the forest edge
ready to scatter to the wind.

the light was hitting it just right
and i had to take a picture

to help remember.

December 2016, Noxubee Hills, Mississippi
By Lindsay Kolasa


2 thoughts on “Bottomland Hardwoods

  1. Oh my goodness, Lindsay, this is so gorgeous and makes me almost painfully nostalgic for more time in the woods. You write of it so intimately, express it’s voice through yours. Oh I love this.

    • Thanks dear one ❤ I'm so glad this inspired you to go romping in the woods… I appreciate the feedback! Poetry is always such a vulnerable thing…

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