‘Heal, heal’, they say, but
how long does it take a forest
to recover from wildfire?
80 years and longer.
Meanwhile, the forest floor breathes;
she finally sees
the silken sheets of sunlight
fanning her a breeze;
the nutrients from dead trees nourish
her soil like the puckered beaks
of mother birds offering up slain worms
for their hungry chicks;
pinecones throw open like maidens in heat;
wind-swept seedlings put out rainbow shoots;
hollyhocks rise from the ashes
like Cappadocian hot air balloons;
the charred remains of tree trunks,
proud like gothic castles,
provide shelter for the two-winged, the six-legged,
the squirrel and mink who make
their homes in hollow bark.
The wound gives.
Published in OpenDoor Magazine, October 2022