by Paul J. Willis
Incense cedar, elderberry,
scattered chapels of white fir.
Cones stand up like paper squirrels
on the branches, waxing
resinous in sun—light of the year
yet lingering with warmth in plenty,
here, now, an afternoon
in folded grass and browning nests
of bracken under broken
granite, lucid sky. Stillness
after ache and heave
of summer, no one here beside,
and no one thinking of the snow.
—Sequoia National Park