Author's Note: The tree poem resulted from 25 trees we had to take down for fire safety to the tune of 7 thousand and the insurance company still raised our rates. Insurance in CA is becoming terribly high, barely affordable due to the many fires here. We live on six acres in a forest of oaks and ponderosa pines. We have solitude and beauty here. My poems are driven by what touches me.
He remembers minnows threading his toes, passages in the water where submerged worlds of algae, gothic crabs, shadows of his own sun-bright body pressed onto the lakebed. He resurfaces into how he and his lover stood knee deep in the lower falls of the lake’s dam, the graceful civility grown by those accustomed to one another. Years later, he hopes to pull the horizontal days down to where they began; her face between his palms, sunshine splintering off their shoulders, water working its way between them.
Already my bones are breaking for our trees—how they drop, their branches ripped free— enormous thuds ponderosas make as they’re felled—Already there’s an empty space where they once stood, warriors of the sky, comforter to birds, escalator to squirrels Already my temperature rises with loss of their granular shade— gone, the music they made in strong winds, the gentle pluck across pine-needle cords, the swish that lulls me to sleep —O, my friends of the sky you will be missed, and the owl who made its home in the crux of your limbs will ask Who
©2020 Dianna MacKinnon Henning
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