G.R. Gaus (April 11 1950 / St. Louis)
Rocky Mountain Juniper
I walk among your haunting limbs,
Your age it’s hard to tell,
Counting tightly woven rings,
In what year came the fell?
Lying down with graceful poise,
Your species is a beauty,
Doubt that anyone heard the noise,
Twas lighting did its duty.
Draped upon an ancient stone,
Charred branches still remain,
Roots torn lose, bark has blown,
Harsh weather left its stain.
But oh the fragrance kept inside,
Waiting to be released,
Safely bound by protected hide,
Furrows deeply creased.
I wonder if you’ve ever seen,
On this desolate piece of land,
Or met another human being,
Where here you made your stand.
If you could tell the story,
Of all the squirrels and birds,
Nesting in all your glory,
I’d love to hear your words.
I imagine I’d still find you here,
If I returned to this place in time,
At least another hundred years,
Your death’s still in its prime.
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