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Sally Zakariya

In the Woods

A tree falls in the woods – and helps kids build a sense of community. – Washington Post, 7/19/18
 

When a tree fell in the woods the children worried
 

Poor tree they thought and wrote love letters
to the tree to make it feel better

 

One drew a sapling to remind the tree it had lived
a good life

 

They left a basket of notes for hikers asking Why
did the tree fall?
and a few answered

 

Big storm said one. Hugging trees is good for people
and for trees
said another

 

It was as though the tree was waiting for children
waiting for their questions, waiting for hikers
to respond

 

Someone once said there are more connections
in this world than particles in the universe –

 

at least possible connections, if, like the kids
we open ourselves to them

Country Road at Night

The headlights cast a low gleaming
tunnel before us, a tunnel a deer
might step into, dipping its hoof
like a toe in the water, or a fox,
slender legged, small footed,
startled by the light.

 

Into that moving tunnel I let my
thoughts drift like blowing leaves,
or skittering insects, or some small
scurrying creature always running
to stay in the light.

 

We stop and the tunnel disappears
into darkness, and night sounds
close in around us, the small wind
and the rustle of whatever is moving
in the dusty bushes by the road
and the rasp of a thousand crickets.
And the thoughts I have loosed
into the gleaming tunnel are held fast
in the dark.

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Overlook, Great Falls, Virginia

They come in twos and threes
families, weekend walkers, visitors
from flat dry lands, kids running
ahead, dogs straining at the leash
breasting the brisk air

 

And yes the falls are breathtaking
worth a few selfies at least before
checking email and walking on

 

missing the trio of hawks
that wheel high against the blue
the woody fringe that rings
the shagbark hickory
the sharp smell of the water
with its rush and roar
telling the rocks who’s boss

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Sally Zakariya’s poetry has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net. Her publications include Something Like a Life, Muslim Wife, The Unknowable Mystery of Other People, Personal Astronomy, and When You Escape. She edited and designed a poetry anthology, Joys of the Table, and blogs at:

About the Artist

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