Redwood Vision

 Sara Backer

“The redwoods, once seen, leave a mark or create a vision
that stays with you always.” —John Steinbeck


My first redwood forest planted a vision in my mind
of a house connecting earth to sky.
A bedroom in the basement roots, pitch dark for sleep,
where dreams feed on thick river silt.
A kitchen in the lower trunk, eye level with black bears
foraging salmonberries in misty understory.
Azaleas make their own pink light in deeply dappled shade.
Higher in mossy branches, I sit on a slanted porch,
eyes shut to fully hear  dissonant warblers and thrushes,
percussion of woodpeckers and  wingbeats of hovering
flycatchers. Closets are crevices in rough, grainy bark
holding scrolls of poems and maps.
I climb a stairway of erratic burls up to a crow’s nest
above the fog where I might almost see the ocean,
were my vision not scorched
by the giant needle-splintered sun.


 “Redwood Vision”previously appeared in Turtle Island Quarterly


Also by Sara Backer
Weeder Geese / Four Senryu for the Beaver
The Rabbit / I Like Coffee