three hot spring pools surrounded by pine trees

Image taken by Naomi Trueman

Cascade, Idaho

Naomi Trueman

green stark against a placid cerulean sky
the trickle of water from one pool
to the next, and down again
i can see in dual vision

charred remains of tall douglas firs 
overgrown underbrush not even left
in remnants, only grey ash 

what will become of the chipmunks
when our forests all burn down?
what will become of the salmon and the trout 
when the rivers dry up?

what will become of our group of three, dreams 
of life on camping trips and nature hikes,
soaking in light of an unfailing sun?

I was a tiny girl born to a barren desert, hated the prickle
of cactus thorns against her soft calves and the sticky 
sweet scent of aloe vera sunburn solution

who dreamt up forest stories and tranquility, 
magpies that float up to nests towered in treetops  
to make a home in a hollowed-out trunk, 
live on roots, nuts, seeds,
chitter-talk to birds deftly plucking twigs

I became a fawn, skittered slowly into the natural world
the two of you taught me to build butterfly gardens
while i squawked at worms,
despite my hangover, the choke of alcohol and
poor decisions painted over
in the serenity of outdoors

roots intertwined between our fingers, 
pretend a hand hold 
nutrient rich soil mashed into gums and 
between pointed teeth.

we sit in hot springs, watch greenery float, breathe 
around us, the two of you grasp hands and lean
into one another. I settle in, lungs full of sweet, fresh air, 
spring sprouts in my mind poke leaves through 
pink and pulsating mash of logic and brains

desperate, we cling to false promises, 
a lifetime spent in nature
carrot gardens and chicken coops,
wake up with sun and sleep with moon

but my wrist aches from holding my cell phone 
clocks count hours, minutes of scheduled life
and my shoes are thin-soled and flimsy, 
made by exploited hands in factories worlds away

selfish, we grasp at preservation of our natural world–
blame the railroads, the revolutions, and the conquests
colonizing countries that spread death and seize power

every year, new animals on endangered lists
weather patterns erratic and inconsistent
summer heat rises, tulips sprout too soon

victims, culprits, consumers
we try our best to unlearn and recreate 
so much is still too powerful, too out of reach 
to heal with our own miniscule bodies

i believe nature will save herself from us.
crows are in their stone age
mushrooms can break down oil spills and garbage piles
if you cut a worm in half, both ends live on, 
an opportunity to try again

Naomi Trueman is an avid reader, writer, and outdoor enthusiast. She currently attends Boise State University and studies Creative Writing, Writing for Change, and Gender Studies. On warm days, she can typically be found laying in the sun or taking a heat nap. On rainy ones, she prefers being indoors with a hot drink and a good book. vel aliquam sem tempor eu. Pellentesque sem tortor, elementum et nisi sed, convallis pharetra lorem. Aenean rhoncus rhoncus ex, in dictum massa dictum et. Morbi at nisl fermentum, condimentum tortor a, laoreet leo. Curabitur laoreet diam a metus tincidunt, sed dapibus orci venenatis.

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