Remembering the Black Forest
I saw far fewer sights than I had planned.
Some little thing would take me by surprise:
A stand of flowers that had seized my eyes,
A cuckoo call I strained to understand.
Those firs and pines that loom on every hand
Will have their way and cut one down to size;
The tangy air, in time, will mesmerize
One—leave one sapped and frayed at last—unmanned.
So there are towns that I may never see—
Triberg, Schönwald, and Bad Säckingen—
Mountain meadows I may never reach
Fringed round by walls of oak and spruce and beech
That will forever loom beyond my ken
And yet forever haunt my memory.
William Ruleman recently retired from college teaching to devote himself to writing and painting. His most recent books include the poetry collections From Rage to Hope (White Violet Press, 2016), Salzkammergut Poems (Cedar Springs Books, also 2016), and Stefan Zweig’s unfinished novel Clarissa (Ariadne Press, 2017). His website is www.williamruleman.com.