Originally published in Red Earth Review

On the morning of ten million trees
we knock on the silence the creek carries,

pass stream tasters, air sniffers avalanche
debris flume poised to plumb the mystery

called old growth. Steeped in a verse word-
hungry ecologists and data-craving poets praise,

you say let’s finger the filtered light
songbirds warm to. Orange jelly fungi spewing

from my lips, I say let nurse trees suckle
and swoon. Like owls called in, we amplify

our ears and nibble at galleries of zigzag
beetle art. Looking up, you say let’s get lost

in the table and lie in the moss. My head
resting in the boughs, i say unfettered hopes

fall from the canopy god man hallowed fir
in his thunderous rush so selflessly departed.

Michael G. Smith  is a very-early retired chemist whose poems are forthcoming or have been published in many literary journals. He has published three poetry books, No Small Things, The Dark is Different in Reverse, and The Dippers Do Their Part, co-authored with Laura Young from their residency at the Spring Creek Project’s Shotpouch Cabin. He conducts workshops on the intersections of poetry, science, mathematics and Nature, and lives in Santa Fe, NM.