Thoreau’s Last Words
he whispered, lying in bed
in a suburb northwest of Boston,
thinking, maybe, of Minnesota
or the wild north woods of Maine.
I think of those words now, 150 years gone, time tangible
as the fog of this mild winter that lingers over
what was Gahneesah, “Burial Ground,”
here in the suburbs of northwest Atlanta.
Though the moose left these hills
with the Pleistocene ice sheets,
the Indians on the Trail of Tears,
their traces remain: a sign
at a pet boutique across from city park
advertises moose antlers for dogs to chew,
and a road named Cherokee Ridge Trail
runs through a subdivision lined
with two-story houses that climb
from asphalt and sod.
With that prayer,
he closed his eyes
to join them.