Flood dispatches downed timber, loosens fallen logs from the forest floor, threads the dead among the living, to join armadas of fast-moving slash pulled downstream.
As autumn turns to chilly breeze, falling dust motes trail duff through the grove. I recognize the flood's reprise in abandoned logjams and highwater lines of fine, sifted silt coating redwoods' coarse-split seams.
Afternoon wind moves upriver. The treetops begin to oscillate. I hear them creak and moan, groaning like moored fishing trawlers, shifting in the tide, straining toward the sea.
I flood with longing to understand, to be carried free.
Mary Thibodeaux Lentz