Two millennia ago as the great teacher was born,
we stood drinking in the night sky,
pulsing along with the star heralding his birth.
I was here!

A mere sapling then, I reveled in the changing of seasons,
adding my sibilant voice to the wind,
tasting the snow.
I was here!

Long I have stood silent,
watched you, like any child, stumble,
rasp your knees in the dirt
and struggle again to your feet.
I, like any grandmother, have let you fall
to taste the grit of the earth,
then, in my fullness, filled your lungs
with the gift of my breath.

You’ve grown powerful, child,
too powerful to remember,
drunken with the swarming blood of the conquest,
iron fists gashing rivers of weeping,
tattering the warming cloak of the mother.

Child, it is time to remember…
to drink at the well of our kinship.
Your sister calls to you in the chortle of stream.
Your brother awaits you in the lantern glow
of leaves steeped in sun.
Come, child.  Come.  Come.

Have you forgotten your way to me, child?
Take the road to the headwaters, redwoods
wreathed in living ribbons of memory.
Here, beleaguered by the baying of tractors and chainsaws,
here, cornered with the last of the ancient ones,
here I stand –still!
I, who lifted my voice that long ago night to the star,
I am here!

©1996 Lisa Dollar


LUNA The Stafford Giant redwood tree

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