The alpine willow’s fire

burns close to the ground.


Come autumn,

as each blade burns hotter, 

a catkin rises

like a plume of smoke

or a white flag.


Come closer.  

Like you, every cell 

still hums 

from root 

to flaming tip,

each a vibrant expression

of the whole.


We have each known a wintry night

or a darkness without stars,


but this —

this lone shoot is the opposite of



It holds the creation of 

a collective, 


that will burn as

millions of prayers,


carrying us forward

like sparks,

like lighthouses,

like the stars 

that were there

all along.



*Dedicated to those of us who have felt physically powerless and/or unsafe in the presence of another human.

Categories: Uncategorized


  1. Tricia, Thank you for writing this astonishing poem! What a declaration that real change happens steadily, often quietly, yet born of the one true flame inside, the flame that heals and unites us all. This is moving and connects me to the collective “that will burn as / millions of prayers” at a time it’s most needed. Big thanks and love.


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