Poets for Science
Global Gallery

Campground Audacity

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Location

 

The audacity of the osprey,

predator eyes on

tent top triangles –

she wonders

how might it feel to be

grounded, forever dependent

on the horror of fire

 

The audacity of the grasses,

clinging mussel-like,

root hairs biomimicking

byssal threads as

fresh water waves threaten but

don’t succeed in

sending them downstream

where the fin-less bipeds play.

 

The audacity of the fir-children,

roots latched amidst

bright orange moss,

feeding on sporophyte corpses,

as death spills

upside down shadows upon

blackened armies of ghosts.

 

The audacity of the cedar

that continues to reach

for the sky with needly fingers

pushing through trauma of memory.

A heart eaten by fire,

a fire that left behind nothing

but decorated hollow.

 

The audacity of the black squirrel

staring at the picnic lunch, born to

a cheeky mother that

escaped fire with opportunistic

glee, knowing her children would blend in

among fallen tree ash,

fearless of keen eye predators.

 

 

The audacity of the singed

as they continue standing,

humming their defiant

tune at twilight,

whistling against the hot breeze

that blows beneath the perch of

she who watches, head swiveling

a steady side- to -side, wings lifting

for a tepid rush of air,

then dropping down again. 

They all await the return of balance.

 

 

The audacity of the woman at campsite 10 who stares obtusely

at the osprey sitting on her throne.

The woman scowls at the diligent squirrel

collecting sustenance for its babes,

and at the sharp little trees

that suckle at their embryonic stores. 

But especially audacious is her assumption

that it is ok to bat away

the beetle that was en route

to the ground and landed

on her hat.