In Residence

In Residence
by Paul J. Willis

The trees don’t move. Incense cedar,
ponderosa. The sturdiness of Douglas fir,
white oak, leaves with lobes.

Small brown cabins grow up quietly
at their feet, but the trees are the ones
that live here. We come and go,
enter and exit porch and door,
but no one opens a tree.

They come inside in little logs,
not quite themselves,
and chimney smoke climbs back
into the topmost branches, hangs
there like the green curved length
of cones on sugar pine, depending.

—Lincoln, Oregon

—from Visiting Home