Excerpted From “The Wolf Pack Moon”

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The Sentinel

If I were a redwood,
I’d stand on a mountain shrouded in fog.
I’d be the tallest and grandest of all.
Eagles would come
to perch on my arms, crows would caw
in vigilance. Wings would fold
to nurture their young,
safe from the edge of tines and tongues.
If I were a redwood, I’d converse with the moon
and kiss the stars. I’d sway
in the wind and begin each day
with a dawn painted purple and red. I’d be humbled
by God and the miracle of song
composed and sung by wrens. I’d bend
to the rhythm of tumultuous storms and move
with the stealth of paws. If I were a redwood,
I’d huddle in the rain and cling to the cliffs
of granite and schist that hold me. I’d be sentinel
to preciousness, beauty, and peace. I’d live
far beyond the logger’s reach of saws and lack
of benevolence. If I were a redwood,
I’d live in the throes of heavenly bliss
in the northern coastal wilderness.
Richard Rensberry, The Grumpy Poet


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