from the Iroquois Museum came the story
  of a sky woman who fell thru the clouds
and was caught by geese who set her down
  on a turtle’s back. Thus, people came

on Bear Road there were no bears
on Schoolhouse Road only a swamp
on the state highway freight trucks
  roared past us for half a mile
and on Red Barn Road somebody had
  recently painted a barn red

and there the mud-covered cows charged toward us
  and waited for a word at the hot-wired fence

we told them we meant
  Helios no offense

weeping willow trees were always close to houses
  while lichen-covered, crag-wrinkled trees
had faces to be seen, recognized on them

all these barns with roofs sagging like wet paper
  tear themselves down by decay

unstitched nails pop from buckled walls
  under which the white ash and maple sprout

when we came down from the hill
  where fog enshrouded us
rushing water in culverts
  was loud but invisible