Escaped! But from what? Did he mistake me for some species of bear, capable of climbing trees? In my best year, I was never good at climbing. Even had I wanted that pine cone, I could never have reached him. Earthbound and clumsy, I craned my creaking neck to see where he had gone, but I saw only only swaying branches, and I heard his progress from tree to tree, the rustling of needles and leaves and the repeated chuckles he let out as he made his way to the wooded lot beyond my back fence. I hope he enjoyed his meal on some shady branch, out there where the woodpeckers chuckled with him.
by Margaret Atwood
The moment when, after many years
of hard work and a long voyage
you stand in the centre of your room,
house, half-acre, square mile, island, country,
knowing at last how you got there,
and say, I own this,
is the same moment when the trees unloose
their soft arms from around you,
the birds take back their language,
the cliffs fissure and collapse,
the air moves back from you like a wave
and you can't breathe.
No, they whisper. You own nothing.
You were a visitor, time after time
climbing the hill, planting the flag, proclaiming.
We never belonged to you.
You never found us.
It was always the other way round.