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beneath sequoias This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

she inhales the rich scent of moist earth and conifers
and twirls around and around
arms outstretched
eyes closed and fingertips searching


hazy sun filtering through the swaying canopy
catches on her cascading hair
she shivers from the sun and the shade
this place feels sacred


the red giants dwarf her
where she stands barefoot and laughing
and the wind whispers memories
many sad


the sounds of stillness and nature
the clinging humidity
the warmth whose touch turns cold
as the branches shift


here for a moment
the world falls away
as she unfurls like a monarch
whose binding chrysalis is shed


and for a moment
she is happy

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