Thick, scaly, russet, so tall you lean
your head back to see the crowns.  

Inhale the glossy, stiff needle-tufts at branch ends
arranged in bundles of three—peppery, minty tang.  

As they mature, needles turn golden and fall,
perfectly straight single trunks shed lower branches.  

Late afternoon sun strobes
between them, dizzying you.  

O, to ground yourself, feel with the soles
of your feet the hum of deep taproots, soil-sunk  

root networks, byzantine braiding 
neighbors, lavish lateral expanse,  

the opposite pull of your spine to elongate, rise.