Rebecca Foust

Seeds of the Giant Sequoia

come cone born, encased

in diamond-hard coats;

something secreted

encrypts them against

climate and time,

lets them wait out

the cold-ground 

generations of winters

for that lightning-crack

thunderbolt trunk-split of fire

to fissure them to life.


Dull glitter of years

layering down.

But when the firestorm

comes, the ground melts

and boils like stew,

swells each seed

from germ to koan,

seeks meaning

from rain, memory

from pain, how it feels

to feel anything.




“Seeds of the Giant Sequoia” first appeared in The Atlanta Review, Spring 2009,