by Sarah McLaughlin
The red soil gives them their color
And in return, they give their needles
Painting the ground a ruddy orange.
A nesting place for wrens and chickadees
And dragonflies they provide, and the air
Breathed by coyotes, does, and dingoes.
Beware the yellow jasmine that twists its way
Up unsuspecting trunks
To cinch them like a snake
Suffocates its prey.