Letter to America: Poem by Robert Morgan

Letter to America by Robert Morgan

One Poem

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So many places where I used
to walk are now closed off, the trail
around the Cicero that came
out on the summit like a path
into a higher realm, the way
along the river bank beneath
the birches, sycamores, and vines,
the route across the pasture to
the pines and whispering branch, then by
the old molasses furnace built
by Grandpa Morgan years before
my birth, all fenced or posted by
the owners of new houses who
will tolerate no trespassing
on property once open, clear.
So all that’s left is just the road
now paved and widened, though the dogs
behind the fences growl and bark
at anyone on foot and make
a quiet stroll impossible.
While those inside the homes who stroll
and troll the internet and strive
in games on screens for hour on hour
are unaware that clouds parade
majestically above, that paths
once led to higher elevations.




Robert MorganRobert Morgan is the author of 15 books of poems, most recently Terroir (2011) and Dark Energy (2015). He has published 11 works of fiction, including Chasing the North Star (2016). Nonfiction works include Boone: A Biography (2007). A native of western North Carolina, he is currently Kappa Alpha Professor of English at Cornell University.

Read six poems by Robert Morgan previously appearing in Terrain.org.

Header photo by MichaelGaida, courtesy Pixabay. Photo of Robert Morgan courtesy the Cornell News Service.

Terrain.org is the world’s first online journal of place, publishing a rich mix of literature, art, commentary, and design since 1998.