Occidental Trees

Occidental Trees

Len Kuntz

We lean in to learn your stories,

the ones you tell about mothers you miss,

or a wish you might have made one dawn when

wonder still held a certain promise

and rainbows could keep you captive.

Our backs are made of bark,

sometimes sheathed with only the brittle knots of moss,

other times wrapped in dog clothes—

striped stockings, woolen scarves or Crayola-colored dickies.

But we were here first,

us and the earth below the cobble stones you walk on.

We were here before the great fire and explosions,

when Yesler was floating logs to and from the pier.

We are Seattle's sacred sons

and years from now we will still be standing,

albeit bent from trying to

tell you the secrets of our long

and happy history.

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