Grows thick and plump this year.
Dark clouds hide jagged peaks,
envelop distant forest.
Hungry for sun,
People wonder out loud when summer will come,
Now that July is nearly gone,
And the rain continues.
It sifts down from the gray, beads on my jacket,
Slowly forms rivulets, drops to the ground.
I see it soak into earth, dampened for days now,
Still thirsty for more.
Old trees surround us,
Bare and blackened.
At their feet,
filling all space between,
Soft, young evergreens grow waist high.
Twenty two years ago the fires raged.
All efforts to control them failed;
Fueled by deadfall, drought, strong winds,
Their fury and destruction screamed
From headlines and nightly news.
By September, thousands of acres blackened,
They said it would never be the same.
We were there.
Waited in line, did as we were told.
Drove miles and hours without stopping,
Windows closed, through thick smoke
and searing heat.
No sun that day either
- nor for many more long after.
Now we rest under a large tree,Still lush and green.
Rumpled foothills are
Nubby with grey-green sage.
Around us, wild blue lupine
flow and fade off in all directions
as far as we can see.
Jeans wet, boots muddy,