I’m dressed with light by day, doused with sunshine

and sometimes rain, finch song, the trill of mockingbirds.


When storms muscle up the coast, watch me stand rooted—

I’ll bend and sway, go straight again, companionable


in the canopy, bolstered by the charm of countless unseen tethers.

You should know my portion of the forest floor is a forum


for shared communications, a network of vital nerves

for moods and messaging, deep-dives down through the fungal


filaments. Bark’s tough but still a skin that breathes, sends out songs

picked up by the finest sensors—a tune for storms


and shifts in seasons, drifting snow or dropping leaves.

Today I saw a heron glide overhead, straight through a violet dusk.


You’d be surprised by what turns up—the cardinal, red plume

of paint across the field, a snakeskin unfurled beside the gravel path


along a lawn trimmed back from the wild. I think I’m still learning

to hear a coyote’s call, how it differs from the fox. I love how


each will tack toward the edge of any setting, the flicked tells

of their tails a distraction for these darker days of tipping


point and carbon sink. Listen, once I was luminous—

fireflies flared their cold light through a dark so profound


you couldn’t rinse from my crown their countless falling constellations.