Disappearing Birch Forest
When I was a child,
I thought the birches I knew
grew on a mountain cliff.
When I walked the deer trail
across its steep flanks,
I meandered alone,
the woods held me safe.
I’d look through leaf lace
into a drop studded
with lollipop stick trunks,
walk the hillside trail
straight across at a slow rise.
I learned that a slant path
can be the best way to go,
a lesson I try to remember
when writing poems.
When I return as an adult,
the forest has vanished,
swallowed by a sandpit.
When I’m Gone
These words are for you, granddaughter,
a treasure map of history and myth
about a family that no longer exists
in a world that has changed to something different
you won’t remember the stories I didn’t tell you
or the wildflowers I never grew in the garden
or the jars or jam and fruit I never canned
or the pines, gulls and waves at Stella Maris
when it was a retreat house before you were born
when I still remembered family stories
when I still had four brothers and four sisters
when I still fed nectar to hummingbirds
when I still kept a wildflower garden
and I recorded our conversations to share with you
when Mother Earth held me on her lap
Date Published: September 3, 2018