After the Storm

After the great lightning strikes,
the marine sky crests like a wave,
while the storm nourishes
the veins of the earth.

Lightning solos soften
to the rhythmic beating of rain
on the tent roof.

Somewhere, surely,
lightning split
a ponderosa in two.
Somewhere,
a fir caught fire.

This morning,
laced with heavy dew,
the flowers nod their heads:
the daisy, the blue flax,
the wild rose,
the esoteric flora
of the Apache forest.

Somewhere now
a ponderosa begins the hard work:
Charred bark
and needles drop ever so gently—
finally joined by falling branches.
Even the trunk
doubles over
and collapses into the ashes
on the ground floor,
nourishing the soil.

As I speak, a piece of ponderosa bark,
irregular in shape, light as balsa,
lights on my shoulder.

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