Two Boulders

March 8, 2023

On Panther Creek in the Sierra,
I saw a boulder splashed

with pale green crustose lichen,
merged and matted all across its granite sides,

just the way a sandstone boulder used to be
in a small ravine beside our home.

Then a wildfire poured itself
down that ravine, and the eucalyptus

dripped with flame,
scorching all that lovely lichen.

That was eight years ago,
and the sandstone boulder

shoulders only a ghostly palette,
little outlines of charcoal shadows.

Some wounds are like that,
some insults never heal.