Annoyed, Walt Anderson surveys the gully
Where Province Brook cuts through his apple orchard
Aiming for Kimball Pond. A foot of water
Engulfs his Empires, Romes and Macintoshes.

“Beavers again,” he mutters. “Damn those beavers!”
Their rebuilt palisade of mud and branches
Amends his landscape, arguing for more marshes.
He disagrees, bound to the cause of apples.  

This stubborn duel, this difference in their visions
Repeats here each year, back and forth between them.
The beavers gang up, diking the brook by night.
Walt clears and breaks it down while they’re asleep.

He cackles in the tractor seat, but knows he’s
A mite too gleeful, knows they aren’t retreating.
Within a week he’s right. And he wonders, did they
Girdle the pines that shade my dock from spite?