Independence Day (for Gene Meatyard)

Between painting a roof yesterday and the hay
harvest tomorrow, a holiday in the woods
under the grooved trunks and branches, the roof
of leaves lighted and shadowed by the sky.
As America from England, the woods stand free
from politics and anthems. So in the woods I stand
free, knowing my land. My country, tis of the
drying pools along Camp Branch I sing
where the water striders walk like Christ,
all sons of God, and of the woods grown old
on the stony hill where the thrush’s song rises
in the light like a curling vine and the bobwhite’s
whistle opens in the air, broad and pointed like a leaf.

– Wendell Berry

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