By Michael M. BarrickThe cabin is next door neighbor
to the forest.
The slope of the steep, wooded ridge
ends abruptly, steps away.
the night creatures peer in.
The campfire reassures;
around it, our faces are cast orange
by its fading embers.
First the bats swoop in –
treetop level, scooping bugs –
mosquitoes we hope.
The tree frogs and owls
offer the opening sounds.
The rustling of leaves up the ridge
remains a mystery.
The coyotes scream a warning
to the deer from ridge to ridge.
The owls hoot and screech;
such a racket is rarely heard.
It is night in southern Appalachia.
The creatures declare:
here, you are merely a visitor.
© Michael Barrick/Appalachian Chronicle, 2014