Maidenhair ferns at your feet
seem to rise out of the dust for rain,
the sword ferns sprawl to catch fog,
and the maple lifts itself out of the soil,
massive roots becoming visible
like the muscles of a shirtless power-lifter.
You have taken the widowed boards
of the gate and saved them from the fire
to build a little eave that shelters
the dahlias from full sun,
and now brushed by the breeze
this creates they nod thank you
thank you thank you,
and you wonder what you can do
for hikers and walkers weary from the dust,
a small jug, a metal cup, a wooden bench.
You have wood leftover,
and the sun still to set.
Jeff Burt lives in Santa Cruz County California, home of redwoods, fire, fog, and ocean. He has contributed to Rabid Oak, Williwaw Journal, Willows Wept, and Red Wolf Journal.