In the Pines
  • Pillars of slash pine,
  • erect and unbroken in line
  • as the columns of the Parthenon,
  • emerging from the spiked fans of palmetto,
  • silent, then breathing
  • with the surf sound of breeze in their crowns.
  • Nearby are treble notes of birds and insects.
  • Human sounds on the perimeter
  • are constant, but here still few enough
  • to stand apart from one another.
  • Sun, in the middle of the day
  • silver-plates palmetto edges
  • so they can only be seen through narrowed eyes.
  • Looking west, light through leaves and edges of bark
  • is like a candle glowing through a slice of agate.
  • Green and gold and bronze: luminous
  • or light-eating dense,
  • all against a sky as blue as nothing else but sky.
  • I discover spots of tiny wildflowers,
  • on the margins of woods,
  • like bits of lost jewelry under a carpet edge.
  • I fought my way here
  • as if I were fighting for the surface and air
  • from ten fathoms deep.
  • When, after all, the road spilled ahead
  • like a shiny ribbon torn from a gift,
  • I thought I would split
  • from wanting to laugh and cry together,
  • as if I were a ripe pod
  • hanging on an autumnal branch,
  • a polished shell breaking
  • to send little winged seeds of delight
  • flying to every wind.
  • As if I were suddenly in love,
  • as if I were breathless with love.
  • As the planet reckons time,
  • this land is a newly budded leaf
  • on a new-grown continent.
  • Growth here is shallow-rooted
  • expecting to fall and resurrect.
  • Shallow roots suit me.
  • When I reach too deep in old dirt
  • I grow stony and cold.
  • Sweet as water from a just-discovered spring
  • are the songs of birds I donít know
  • and greetings from fellow-travelers, just met
  • and the living artery of the road between the pines.
  • Damp-eyed, I laugh out loud to myself,
  • and the sound makes me laugh and cry again
  • and my laugh runs away on the ribbon road
  • and climbs to the crowns of the pines.
  • Sheri L. Lohr
  • 1/22/00
  • Long Pine Key Camp
  • Everglades National Park
  •            

Everglades Poems

 Everglades ballad  In the Pines  Homo Pyrotechnicus  Watching the Shuttle  

The Purple Gallinule  Piney Woods  Sugar  Mosquitoes  Nothing Out There 

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