...He loked at one and he sighed:
”Wished they still made them like that.”
I said,”I know at least one remains,
if you’re willing to haul a pack.”
Nick didn’t seem at all convinced,
I said,”Trust me when I say,
if I don’t show you a logging camp,
then I’ll owe you’re a steak.”
With a shrug he agreed to go,
the next week we set on out,
down the long, forgotten trail
under wispy, bone-white clouds.
It took a while to make the walk,
but we eventually reached the knoll,
I said,”Get ready to be amazed,
it’s going to be quite a show.”
But as I walked over the rise,
my heart stopped in it’s pace.
No logging camp greeted my eyes,
I did not recognize the space.
The great clearing was almost gone,
filled up with old birch trees,
a small clearing remained where
the bunk-house once had been.
Instead of buildings all I could see
were rotting piles of aged logs,
several of them, scattered about,
the whole thing dropped my jaw.
Where was the camp, where was Red?
Where were the horses, the cookee?
Where were the voice of lumberjacks
recounting their latest spree?
But Nick, he did the strangest thing,
He ran right down into the ruin,
his eyes light up, he jumped about,
what in God’s name was he doing?
“Do you know what this place is?”
he cried on back as he explored.
“This has to be old camp seven!
Lost for a hundred years and more!
“I though you were a mad man
when you said a lumber camp remained,
but now I see what you did mean,
like a fox you were ‘insane.’ ”
He babbled on, taking pictures,
taking of professors he needed to call,
I let him have his great moment,
since this made no sense at all.
To tell him what I’d really seen,
my friend would not believe.
How could he, when to me it seemed
like some bizarre, crazy dream.
When we returned I looked into
the records of years long gone,
of the Nowell Paper Company,
and the workers they brought on.
In those faded, musty pages,
I found the names of my ‘jack friends.
The youngest had died in sixty-two,
long after Camp Seven’s end.
How this could be, I could not say,
and I’ve pondered it for a while,
to see the dead and share their food,
to carry on in grand style?
Perhaps it was a quirk of physics,
a bending of time and space,
or maybe the Man Upstairs
had chosen me to reveal the place.
I sure do miss those rough fellows,
but I will see them in good time,
In many years when my day comes
we’ll deal cards on the other side.
And there will be flapjacks.
Copyright © David Welch | Year Posted 2018