Robin Chapman: “Pine Cone at My Porch Door”


On top of the evening’s snow,
a pine cone, flared open,
gift of the tree and the wind,
or the red squirrel that lives
in the neighborhood, though
the tracks—if they’re tracks—
are too filled-in to tell.

I’d like to offer something
of my own in return—a song
or word of thanks that lives
on the wind and whispers
of these beautiful cones,
female, whose seed scales,
imbricate, overlap, arrange

themselves in Fibonacci spirals,
open to allow pollen, close
to ripen seed, open again
when the time is dry
to seed new trees, feed
new squirrels, spiraling life
through this mountain-side.

Robin Chapman’s ninth book, Six True Things (Tebot Bach, 2016), received an Outstanding Achievement in Poetry award from the Wisconsin Library Association.

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