Hello, said the spruce cone, and teetered on its tip
before toppling to one side near my foot.
Hello there, I said, and admired its snowy track, a slipping
slide stride down the slope.
Those look like vole tracks, I said, pointing to its trail,
and it tittered, then sneezed a snowy puff.
We’re not vole, it said, we’re forest instead
and shook its frosted scales rough, like a dog.
Forest? I said, crouching closer, bemused. Yes
forest, it affirmed, then giggled as it settled, stem turning
compass-like, to shrouded sun.
We’re descendants of ancestors.
We carry timelines in our tracks.
We tell stories with the wind.
We dance needled across ridge, root
The cone’s scales slightly lifted in sudden silence, seeking sky.
Tell us, it said, who are you?