The silence of centuries
settles in amid these giant redwoods.
Nothing to say to us,
their limbs whisper high overhead.
And, later, when we yell
a friend’s name who has wandered,
our voices feel choked off
by these solitary sentinels of the earth.
Why should they speak to us?
Such weak creatures without roots.
… that late afternoon light glowing through the last leaves still hanging.
Most trees have lost all their leaves, so those that still cling to the branches seem the most jubilant — the ones that won’t give up.
Finding this bridge of leaves over a street in Calistoga, California, was a special treat!
And, finally, hope left,
years of holding on to a solitary thread
that unspooled to nothing.
And what is it
the crickets say
each night when
the wind pushes
the curtains aside?
as we fall asleep
to their lullaby
and follow us
through our days.
I will be listening
when I die.
Every summer when I visit Marcus,
the last thing I do is walk in the field of sunflowers
south of town.
It reminds me of my comings and goings
and how life goes on.
The grasshoppers will be jumping,
and the dew will drench my sneakers.
I’ll track mud back to the rented car,
and that little bit of Iowa
will travel across the country
I used to dream a lot of flying.
Not flying, really.
Soaring. Lifting right off the ground.
I could do it whenever I wanted.
Just slip free of the earth
and look down from on high.
Maybe it’s because I grew up here,
where the sky is wide
and there’s a lot of room to soar.
Or maybe it’s because
I never really felt
The wind was always
to come along.
who grew up on a farm
in the Midwest
knows barbed wire.
Scooting under, climbing
over fences meant
more than once by the sharp,
twisted knots meant
to keep cattle and children