A pine forest calls me by Linda Hogan

I remember how it has grown these years.
Yet the spring pinecones are still young,

soft and gentle as skin to the touch, 
It is always the green season here, even with future amber 
formed golden from bark
with the scent of animal life that passed through. 
If a traveler should pass by, it’s summons, 
Stop, come in, stay. 

I remember one poet taking a branch of pIne
from the winter forest to his dying sister.
It was all she wanted in her last moment.
I have never forgotten the snow dripping 
from that branch to the floor.

It is what I want, too,
not so much to have a branch taken away,
but for myself to be taken to this world
my own life passed through
as it does now in the shadows
where sun filters in
to melt snow, quench earth,
that water dripping from the trees.

You smell it, too, so let’s remain a while in its shade.
How I love this forest, 
where the hieroglyphs of insects
work the inner layers of bark
like monks writing unseen in deep silence,
and if you know the true secret of falling
you might summon that magic language.

I know prayers rise with smoke
the way some people
are so perfectly uplifted
from their first roots.
But when this life of trying is finally over,
bring to my bed a small branch
smelling of green forest,
the melting pure water of snow,
these mysteries discovered
one more time. 

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