Twelve years have passed since the fires came.
The burned-out lodgepoles tower still,
Standing like ghosts too proud to fall
’Til a strong wind comes and lays them low.
I remember this forest from long ago,
When I was a child and the trees were old.
Now the sun comes further down
Past the ashen pillars of yesteryear
And shines upon a brighter green
Of new, young trees that grow so thick
The scars upon the mountainsides
Are black no more, but green again.
The pines grow slowly, and some will die
Before they reach their fathers’ heights—
The porcupine’s girdle is fatal yet—
But still they push toward the sky,
Each needle aglow with the thrill of life.
Poem © 2007 Elisabeth G. Wolfe. Photo © 2000 William D. Wolfe III. All rights reserved.