We Need Each Other to See

– Field notes from Lost Lake, Oregon

Cloudy day in the dense woods
where evergreens grow ancient,
and the only noise is wind.

My daughter and I spread
along the path. She disappears
with camera ready.

I don’t speak into the wind
or answer the rustle of
century-old creaking trees.

We lose sight of each other
and walk the last mile alone,

wandering through maple leaves
changing into autumn’s colors.

At trail’s end, her photographs show
a ribbed white mushroom holding
a quiver of life and light.

I missed it while looking up
while her eyes were on the ground.

She saw the light pulsing,
but not the scarlet vine maple,

its leaves reflecting light like a mirror,
so brilliant it could ignite the air.


Poem by Melissa Madenski

Quiver of Light Photo by Hallie Madenski

Melissa Madenski’s poems and essays have appeared in regional and national publications. Her chapbook, Endurance, was published by Finishing Line Press. She raised her family on the Oregon Coast and now lives in Portland Oregon.

Quiver of Light Photograph by Hallie Madenski lives and photographs in the Pacific Northwest from sea to mountains.