Above Twin Ponds, walking the north
flank of Mount Diablo, each
footfall a new breath. The wind
strokes my ears with its tongue of silk.
Inner chatter sloughs away.
My body slips like a whisper
into the ears of the hills.
September grasses sleep their
golden sleep, dreaming beneath
the cracked earth. The live
oaks sigh in their cloaks of burlap.
In my 60th year I can call them
my clan. They’ve finally taught me to
abide the seasons—
Now I too wait for winter rains,
Knowing they’ll come when they come,
and for spring, when everything
is coaxed back into the dance;
I too listen for the quiet knock
of the woodpecker, probing for
plump secrets, scaling the rough
face of bark, clinging lightly, lightly.
—Mt. Diablo, Shasta bioregion, 2017