Mornings I like to wander among
a lovely jam of sturdy trees--oak and redwood, Eucalyptus, others,
so many forms--anything goes
here at Lake Chabot--the ground’s paved
with dead leaves, browned from hunger and thirst.
I and my old dog step on their skins
curled and crisp as fried bacon cooled,
their juice leached,
piles of them in mass graves,
some in single plots,
all of them bitten and freckled,
all freely giving back the life they won,
returning it to the forrest as if loaned to them,
the life never asked for, with no memory of it.
For them there’s simply a season to shine
in bright sun and for the rest of time
to wither in deep shade,
without sap and membrane,
gone forever without a trace or complaint.
This comes to mind as I step across
this gorgeous graveyard.