Hollowed-Out Bark

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Enter quiet, enter peace
I need a refuge
I’m so weak and vulnerable
The sunlight blinds my eyes
I need a church of serenity
Need to sit inside the hollowed-out bark of a fallen tree
Watch the sun play off a spiderweb wheel
as I suck up fond memories from a ventilator tube…
I whistle like Dylan to the cacophony of bluebirds and sparrows
Chase the otters down the stream, skipping off stones
I find comfort in the shade, walk through the cool forest mist
To the cathedral of giant redwoods and mushrooms the size of cauliflower…
My loved ones they died, my wife and son are gone
They are only with me through crinkled photographs and eight-millimeter home movies
Wish I could grow to be old and wise
Wish I could produce pollen and drop acorns from the sky
Be around for centuries, each layer marks another hundred years
I wish I could see the changing faces of tourists and park rangers
Experience the light bouncing off water, the bloom of flowers against my roots
I wish I could experience the rebirth of the redwood fires
that form the hallowed-out bark, the ever-living tree, in Muir Woods.

For more on my experience at Muir Woods, read my story, Finding My Father, in Dual Coast Magazine, Vol. III.

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