Down by the oaks tonight
you might still find a musket boys
but stay lively
for the feral cats in the underbrush.
In the forest we carved from a still
there was the lesser forest
we lived in.
Have you seen the boys of means
up at the old stone brook,
they will say
you feel pretty narrow
for a good boy. They will ask you
if you fall every night,
and for what. You'll hear the story
of three decades of winter
and worse luck for someone else's
daddy. They will sell what they got
and give up freely
anything no one else would buy.
Down at that tumbledown a boy
might find himself
a black charger with wet haunches—
no, it's a tree. But mark it,
the older ones
whinny, playing older in a fortress
up the canopy,
if we'd wanted to whittle you into
a gun, we could have,
if we'd wanted to light you up, we
if we'd wanted to strangle you here
in a crib of black twigs and moss
in the grim dark
behind your house, we could have.