October 28*

Western Red Cedar bark

the tickling prickle of fir needles
the soft furrows of cedar bark
the waxy leather of salal
the prick of oregon grape
the smooth cold of alder trunk
the stab of blackberry
the crucifixion of devil’s club
the soft bed, feathered nest, of moss
the electric sting of nettles
the thin stiffness of snowberry stems
the rich cold clumping of this soil
          —and the thick soup of air, space

*Copyright 2010 by Luther Allen. This poem appears in The View from Lummi Island.
photo by Lee LaFontaine

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