Oregon Garden, Silverton, OR

Sunblind, still how could I miss
the scrap-metal dragon, sculpted
scales poking up through pea-green
marsh. Past Pacific maples in
the bosque, bursts of zinnias
span the spectrum of visible light.
Then the monkey puzzle tree,
the empty children’s garden, toad
lilies nourished by raw quiet.
And roses, sure, though their colors
bleed slowly. Farther down,
forest edge spells fire danger,
lays out evacuation routes in case
our flames raze the good green earth
we took for granted. In this tinderbox,
sweat somersaults from bent brow
onto echinacea; bee balm and aloe
soothe burns yet fail to save us.
Meanwhile, calendula still coat
the meadows; a snail secretes
a legacy on leaves of thyme
for all of us, tangled in a solar net,
lone exit sign flashing red red red.