I press my forehead against

an old growth redwood trunk,

twisted bark like thick fur

the color of rust. I step inside

its burnt-out core, a room created

by past centuries of fire, hollowed

as a giant cathedral but somehow

still growing taller. I lean against

the towering creature, branches

higher than any human reach.

Light filters in making a celestial pattern

and a spider hangs its home beside me.

I say what do you need from me? and stop speaking.

I feel my bones settle, my thoughts go silent.

The tree says—take the time to listen,

make the time to hear me.

This is its only request.

Jacqueline Suskin reads 'Listening to Trees'