Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Camassia Preserve

The shallow soils of this rocky plateau support wet meadows, Oregon white oak-madrone woodlands, vernal and permanent ponds, and even a stand of quaking aspen.

Strange skies, peeling
like the bark of a madrone;
poison oak gleaming like
fire reflected in brass;
oak galls nest in
last year's leaves.
Grasshoppers cock
and spring, as I pass;
drawing the straight lines
of a pattern I'm too dull to grasp.

I find my son
at the brink of the dell,
sitting on the bare gray stone.
Below is a firepit,
unsanctioned, no doubt.
For a moment evening
takes my imagination, and I see
the restless teenagers,
the flaring light, the dares;
they know this place is sacred
but no one has taught them
what to do with sacred places.
They can only improvise.

But here in the strong
but failing sun
are only blackened rocks;
my son with his long thick hair,
his steady kindness, his
grace; he is indulging us
by going on this walk, but
he cheerfully
makes a virtue of all necessities.
We leave this to you, all
this beauty and confusion.
We're sorry it could not be more,
that we could not hand you
a confident future.

My dear son
we bequeath to you
an evening habit of video games
a nature preserve or two
and this fading autumn sun.

No comments: