Spring in the Forest Near Stanley

Sapling roots knuckle the earth

as green shoots summon visions

fresh buds line raw creeks.

Water spirits nurture torrents

of white crescendos flooding

down from alpine heights.


Loggers rapped by lusty thumps

of ruffed grouse males courting.

Men stirred by sweet camas scents

and the stippled ooze of raw pitch.

Men shouldering heavy chainsaws

tools revved and roaring to bite.


Stag elk bugle and rut as men

head into the forest; their ears

longing to hear timber! feet ready

to leap aside as giant yellow pines

crash down around them.


Rings marking years of growth

sliced; arteriole flows bled open.

Logs chained and hoisted on trucks

bound for the whine and zip of mills.


Loggers muscling one tree at a time

alive with pitch, burnt oil, and sweat.


-Margaret Koger


Margaret Koger is a school media specialist with a writing habit. She lives near the river in Boise, Idaho. Her father taught her to love trees. She was raised on acreage with a full complement of farm animals and later enjoyed backpacking, whitewater rafting, and camping in the Rockies.