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Dear Mr. Biden, 

Remember there are lush, green redwood ravines,
groves set aside for citizens' respite and renewal,
so ancient that current problems seem a wisp of spider's web.
A league of people preserved this sliver of coastline,
wrested woods from those wanting only profits.
Because of their persistence, I walk the Hope Trail
as the morning fog starts to lift.
They, too, must have noticed the candy-kiss seedpods of trillium,
summer's string of hanging, orange lily-lanterns, and the variegated, maroon inflorescence of tiny orchids.
They would have listened for the varied thrush's melancholy whistle, delighted in the Pacific wren's waterfall of notes and the trickle of the creek camouflaged by spreading thimbleberries and mock azaleas.
Hope Creek's watershed is worth their struggle.

An onshore breeze gently stirs the treetops high above,
ruffles a steep hillside's carpet of sword and lady ferns,
lifts five-finger ferns in subtle waves.
A crater made by a fallen giant
where now its contorted root ball rests,
out of deep crannies grow a cascade of deer ferns.
Atop a fallen log's tablecloth of worn-looking silk-moss
a spring-green tree begins.
The trail is littered by the flotsam of rhododendrons,
broken limbs and folded trunks,
done away with by a hard freeze eight years ago.
Still, I find survivors with spindly, sunlit branches, up on the ridge.
I crane my neck to spot their panicles of soft pink blossoms,
cuffed in fresh, oblong, yellow-green leaves, aglow.

Mary Thibodeaux Lentz

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