Poems by Bri Bruce

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by Bri Bruce

From Canary Winter 2017-18

Bri is privileged to have grown up beside the towering redwoods of California's Santa Cruz Mountains and now resides only a few steps from the Pacific Ocean that unfailingly feeds her work and forever runs in her blood.

Through the night the trees rocked
to and from, boughs bucked and pitched
against one another and I remember
thinking it sounded like weeping.

At first light I left the hilltop for
the shadows of the canyon. The river
was frenzied, filled with leaves
and waves and mud. I stood for a time
at that maelstrom, where it boils as it greets
the sea. When I turned to leave
I found the owl’s nest had fallen
from the branch that embraced it,
torn away from the old fir in the storm,
the knot of it resting at its roots.

Tonight the moon is full. I trace
its course through the sky beyond
the window in my sleeplessness, a square
of moonlight at the foot of the bed, later
waking to find it has shifted and I
am bathed in it. I am imagining the owl
in the tall four hundred-year-old Douglas fir,

standing sentinel in the black of the night
beneath a smattering of bright stars.

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