Herman Vogler Conservation Area
Stepping between the shade of old trees
and the brightness of new life
we are reminded again and again
of this difficult, spacious truth:
Our best growth blossoms in soil and sun
opened by loss.
I chop down a job, and in the silence
of my clear-cut schedule I learn to sing
like a shrub full of songbirds.
A withered relationship crashes down
and I think myself a withering man—
then love floods my emptied heart
with ten thousand wildflowers
and all the outrageous exuberance of youth.
My towering elders sicken and fall,
and heroism rises in me like a young maple.
Grant us the wisdom to know when
to wield an ax. Grant us the discipline
to learn how. Grant us the courage
to swing true, destroying to conserve
the living forests of our hearts. Help us
to accept loss, making space for new life.