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I started this poem while visiting Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks with my family last summer. It simmered in my mind as the seasons changed. It may continue to evolve, but for now I wanted to share.

The landscape is always changing.

This year the sage along the highway seems bigger,

the snow on the mountains dwindles,

and smoke is thick as clouds.

We are afraid of the fire.

The landscape is always changing.

Extraordinary structures of concrete and glass,

once so jarring,

become part of the mundane

as my eyes adjust to the changing scene.

Though they long for green.

This year passes with the landmarks of time,

bringing glimpses of fading emotions

as I am letting go of the story

of a distant memory.

The landscape is always changing.

I see it in the charred remains of the forest,

the heat it takes to melt steel,

the burning rage of dissidence.

And still we are afraid of the fire.

But the lodgepole pines of Yellowstone

will only release their seeds in 150 degree heat

and ash that falls like snowflakes

nourishes the soil,

readying it for new life.

Through its own devastation the forest endures.

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