Evening Poetry, May 9

In Trackless Woods

by Richard Wilbur

In trackless woods, it puzzled me to find

Four great rock maples seemingly aligned,

As if they had been set out in a row

Before some house a century ago,

To edge the property and lend some shade,

I looked to see if ancient wheels had made

Old ruts to which the trees ran parallel,

But there were none, so far as I could tell–

There’d been no roadway. Nor could I find the square

Depression of a cellar anywhere,

And so I tramped on further, to survey

Amazing patterns in a hornbeam spray

Or spirals in a pine cone, under trees

Not subject to our stiff geometries.

You can find this poem in Richard Wilbur: Collected Poems 1943-2004.