I Am That Cypress

The past has all blown east.

The Monterey cypress felt it leave

in the teeth of a Pacific sea squall.


Ever since, the cypress has leaned

toward yesterday

with outstretched arms.


Some days I am that cypress—

wind buffeted, whale boned,

sway backed and salt bleached.


I was thrust off-center in my cambium

and over time

my heartwood scorched.


And like the cypress I cantilever

east in search of lost days.

I reach with every limb


for something blown away, because

those days are familiar landscape

softened by the fog of memory,


and somewhere in that fog is the sum

of what I’ve already weathered.

Somewhere east is a time


when I already survived the gale.

If I could find it, I’d exhume the past

and kneel beside it in the rain.






Monterey cypress, Hesperocyparis macrocarpa.
Many are found on the rugged Central California
Coast in the Big Sur and Point Lobos areas.
They are iconic survivors of harsh sea weather and
winds from the west.



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