Before its grand dip 
into the Licking Valley
on the upland part
of the path to the river,
an observation hut
beckons the Whitman walker
to observe a supple wood.
The structure’s old lumber
slowly losing its configuration,
its disjointed view of nature
through a narrow slit
of time and space that enhances
the bustle of birdlife in the air,
its moss-covered bench
and last year’s leaves
bunched up at the baseboard,
require the stillness of death
to hush the firings of his wires.
One has worked all of a life
to come this way and stop
to feel the scratch
of maple branch
on the old hut’s back wall:
Oh! Tis an announcement
of a breeze that’s rolled up
from some deep hollow
to bless his short stay
with the cool whisper
of the water from below