At the Pacific’s edge, we looked toward the horizon
seeming flat, then starting a steady rise, relentless
building toward the smash against jagged rocks,
jamming spray through holes they’d eaten.
We walked a trail at Eight Dollar Mountain—
where gold miners found hefty nuggets, where ground absorbed
bodies fallen in the Rogue River Indian War.
The boardwalk led us over underground streams seeping into fens
of Darlingtonia, not yet in bloom when their bulbous heads
would stretch tight above leaves with throats waiting to trap flies—
now dark shriveled knobs, unsettling beside radiant meadows of Camas,
their little lavender petals open to let delicate yellow pestles
take hold of spring’s sun.
We drove the slow road through Stout Grove,
strolled the trail of soft bark among ferns unfurling
from winter, touched a redwood’s insides
freshly broken—half-trunk splintered shafts
thrust into branches unable to stop their fall.