Bass Lake Trail by Marc Thompson

I keep thinking of the trees
in this northern boreal forest
this ocean of green
splattered with lakes;
an ocean
transubstantiating
to yellow, orange, red

Of the jack pines and tamaracks
that spread their roots
across the forest floor
twisting and dodging
large swaths of granite
before diving in
to the shallow earth

Of two million years ago
when a burning white landscape
scraped everything away;
erased ferns and mastodons
striated the bedrock
and buried the land
in ice half a mile higher
than the top of my head

Of wolves, bears,
moose, and humans
whose lives depend on
lichen
pale, green lichen
digesting billion-year-old quartz
and expectorating soil.

 

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