May redwood roots tickle my bones.
May my blood rise as tinted sap.
May my arms lift as limbs to sunlight,
may I embrace the rain.
May these muscles bear massive growth,
may they bend and flex
through squall and storm.
May the over-abundant hair of my body
become filaments of shaggy bark.
May fingers and toes become needles of green,
may the chickadee clutch with tiny feet.
May my dreams flow to cones, become seed.
May my words whistle with the wind
spreading stories, tall tales.
May my unworthy spirit surge
with the glory of sequoia.
May the hawk build a nest at my crown,
may the fox hover at my hollow.
May I resist the rot, repel the insect,
and when at last I fall
May I be sectioned, milled, notched and nailed,
May I become the soul of a house
peopled with children,
crafted with love.
Joe Cottonwood has worked as a carpenter and general handyman since 1976. Nights, he writes. He lives with his high school sweetheart in La Honda, California, where they built a house and raised a family under (and at mercy of) giant redwood trees. More at joecottonwood.com.