of Lake Chabot toward the creek,
the young redwoods and the old oaks
and the tall tender pines
as if for the first time
and as if for the first time
I circle the large trunks,
roots tangled like boas,
stare at them and they stare back
as if mutual understanding could
be possible by looking and waiting.
On this warm morning, I wear sandals.
On cooler days my lace-ups get their turn.
My old dog greets both with wild shaking
of her bushy tail and in the woods she sniffs
as if never before, as if never again.
There is the scent of freshly washed bark
and the fragrance of something brand new
as if these trees had been pulled up by their
crowns through the muck and moss
in the deep of night. Oh, but what is
that strange sound beyond the creek?
A creature, yes, honking in pain.
I look to my breath, to the scent of oak,
to the flavor of pine, to the sweet perfume
of life which I may never understand, must love
without armor, without holding backas if never before and never again.