Notes on Revisiting Caldor
23 months after fire:
black oak sprouts from a scorched base
deerbrush, Sierra milkwort
fresh deer prints on old dirt road
spotted towhee unseen in the brush
dry meadow alive with mullein
velvety goldenrod, heart-leaf milkweed
among black skeleton conifers, new ponderosa sprouts –
too many, too dense for the forest to support
grown a foot in 3 months
red-breasted nuthatch, brown creeper
dragonfly; bumblebee pollenating grindelia
red-tailed hawk invisible in blue
Lest I get lost in the details –
this is the forest I’ve loved for half my life,
and searched with my dogs for ghosts of the dead.
Ash to ash, and beyond.
This is the forest coming back.