Gone to the Pine

in the stories i tell myself
i am sour milk

good for pancakes
or a cat if i had one

sitting somewhere warm
fur shining white

i am empty-handed
and approximately dressed

but look how much pine
can be knit just from sunlight

evergreen needles
barely moving

though i feel an icy breath
on the back of my neck

coming out of the rocks
where i’ve arranged my seat

just below the crest
of a high wooded spine

the tall pine is hollow
with a stripe of dead wood

from a devastating flash
severing the present

from the past with its absence
of woodpeckers

i follow the shadow
to a seedling pine

on a small carpet of moss
laid out on the rocks

the stories shed
their owl pellets

time to hunker down and scavenge
the best bits

Rothrock State Forest above Barree
Feb. 3, 2024

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