Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Cedars

Cedars

This is where they belong:
Part of the over-story
A blue note in the opening
Phrases of the hardwoods,
Mainly oak here with Viburnums
And creepers filling in
The middle ranges.

At first the trail seems
The theme: wood-chip lined
For children not to get lost.
But then the main trail
Forks into the quiet hills,
Only a few arrows and warnings
To guide a morning walk.
We teach our children to trust
The trail maker who comes before:
Don't stray but stay on theme.

And that trust persists to right now
On this trail and its cedars
That belong here with the oak.
Trust that maker who sends me
Along the top of a ridge,
Seemingly the wrong way-
Sends me off the trail
Into his world
With its themes,
lush and silent.

Commentary: Cedars have gotten a bum rap here in Kansas especially from me who asks if they might best be considered an invasive species. But in the Ozarks of Southern Missouri you can see cedars as a normal part of the forests, much like yew and fir in the forests of my home in New England. This poem was written during and after a brief trip to Big Cedar Lodge South of Branson Missouri, a place my wife and visited to celebrate our anniversary.
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