By Tim Applegate


On a wind-battered stretch of coastline
I stop the car to stand in the rain
and snap a photograph of a dwarf pine
which has — against what odds? — taken root
in a slab of granite
buried in the mud flats of the sea.

The camera flashes, a tiny moment... and then
I remember the pinons that grew in the high
desert — stopping to photograph them — and begin
to hum the song the wind was singing
in the dry throats of those trees.



I hum the river, to cast its dark
        pools for trout. Then
my mother, unchanged by death, is
standing beside me, calm and attendant, watching

the yellow fly arc through air and land, without
a ripple, on the surface of the stream.