Noisy Water Review

Under The Madrones

Katrina Kappele

We sit under the madrone trees,
Watching,
As a pair of children bound up the beach,
The sand shifting under their feet as they run,
Laughing,
Into the spray.

The twisted arms of the red madrones
Reach high above us into the cool blue sky,
Painted with the wisps of clouds and
The white diving birds of the shore.
They are tangled, contorted in the exquisite agony of life's dance,
Reaching gleefully into the sky,
The dark and haggard bark covering peeling off,
Exposing to the sun and the salt air and the craggy rocks of the shore
The delicate red and white of their flesh.

It was not so long ago that we were those children,
Little scudding crabs that ran,
Laughing,
Out of the loving embrace of the mother sea.
We were, not so long ago,
Those children, who, as monkeys,
Laughing,
Climbed into the welcoming arms of the father madrones
And cavorted in the joyful throwing open
And the sincerity of the age.
Not long ago at all,
We were children, and,
Laughing,
We ran to the shore to scramble among the spray-cool rocks
And the sun-warm red arms of the trees.

There is a God,
But he does not need us to cut down the trees
And build him churches,
Worshiping in stilted speeches once a week,
Or sit inside when the sun is out and there is no rain.
He is here as we sit against the rough and smooth bodies of the madrones
And laugh as children laugh,
And are open,
Searching the sea before us for the little white triangles
Of boats.

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