Photo Opportunity at Big Basin State Park


The canopy of charred redwoods, their
trunks burnt at the turn of the century,
stand like hollow rooks against
a white and nameless adversary
whose every move is random but whose
presence is determinate. We follow
the trail to the falls, past the ferns that
are worshipping our backs, past the frail
butterflies jostled by our breath and
the eddies made in our wake, past
the banana slugs stretched out like
ripening chili peppers across the dirt,
until we come across a bit of spoor
in the trail. We carefully analyze it,
deciding what kind of animal it came
from, why such a bold expression was
needed out there in the open. And we
walk on, suddenly to realize two fawns
with a doe moving through the brush
ahead of us. They don’t see us.
I grab my camera to take a picture
with no thought of who will be holding
this photo in the future or who will be
holding photos of us someday as we try now
at the end of the millennium to reach
the falls before the darkness drops down
on us out of an unfathomable sky.