First Growth

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The first-growth coastal redwoods
fell and split open before my birth.
Then I came into this land
of uprooted consciousness,
saying hello to suffering.

My home is pulled from those
logs men took out in the 40s.
The full, thick planks
of dense grain took on nails
so easily.

I stay close to what is standing.
I need to know that there is life.
At night when trees are sleeping,
when branch tips are curling up
for rest, pursuing simple dreams,
I step out for listening.

Close-by coyotes
appear at sunset in hunger protest.
I hear an elegy in their whimper,
a warning that we’re losing
our love of mother.

Nothing in the stars is bundling our mistakes
and bringing back the forgotten vision
of our fathers.
The only grand life left is above our selves–
that is, until we are offered a broad
circle of rings.

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