Snag ~ Paul Willis

(Pinus contorta)


When a lodgepole succumbs
to the snow and the wind and leans out
over a lake, dipping its branch tips
into the water, the trunk will lose
its roughcast bark and turn
white and smooth in an afterlife
of moon and sun.  And before
the ants have completed their work,
dusting the waves with the last
of their indigestible powders,
the trunk will abrade to a gossamer
surface of fine white hairs—
fine as the silk on the head of a child,
as the wispy down above the lip
of a grandmother, bent with age.


Alpine Lakes Wilderness