Pine Cone

As a child I collected treasure on walks —

sea glass, acorns, driftwood, shells.

My mother honored my discoveries by creating

small tableaus throughout the house —

a woodland scene on the mantle,

a beach scattering on the kitchen counter.

Today on my walk

I found a large pine cone

nestled in a bed of pine needles.

Even though my hands were full,

two rambunctious pups on leashes,

I stopped to scoop up this find

and carry it two miles home.

Pine cones have one primary job —

encase pine tree seeds

in a fortress of woody leaves to protect

them from winter and wild animals.

It takes nearly three years for a pine cone to mature.

Yet, once the pine cone falls,

it opens its stiff scales,

allowing the gentle seeds to move on.

My abandoned pine cone, a parent and vessel,

now sits on the mantle so we can honor

its role in replenishing the earth.

6 thoughts on “Pine Cone

  1. I learned something new that it takes a pine cone three years to mature. Nature is so amazing, and you captured it in this piece. I also liked this sentence that showed instead of told: “Even though my hands were full, two rambunctious pups on leashes, I stopped to scoop up this find and carry it two miles home.”

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  2. This is a beautiful post. I love nature, it is often my muse. You have taught me a new way to look at pinecones. I will definitely be “honoring” my treasures from now on.

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  3. So many reflective lines packed in this concise piece, no word or phrase wasted. I love the peek into your childhood, the lesson about pine cones, and how you honor nature “a parent and vessel.” Truly lovely.

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  4. What a sweet memory of your mom “honoring” your naturalist spirit. It reminds me to encourage myself (and maybe my students) to make space for appreciating nature in our iPad-filleddays…

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  5. So lovely! “Found” poetry in nature–you masterfully capture the significance of an overlooked prickly thing of wonder. Your poem made me zoom in on the pinecone’s structure and celebrate its dual purpose: “a parent and vessel.”

    Like

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