Finders of hidden places,

young children, explorers, climbers,

crawl under fence wires, dig, cut,

trespass on private property,

find loose boards, gates with broken locks.

Leap the passages between worlds.


They find possibilities and adventure

through backyards and dead end streets,

to underneath bridges, along train tracks,

forgotten copses of trees,

around bushes of wind-blown trash,

leaving prints in mud of ephemeral ponds,

following invisible paths

made by generations

of other surefooted creatures.


The unseen patches

of wildness in the city

where raccoons waddle their bulk,

squirrels trip swaying wire paths

across steep, oak-filled ravines,

parrots swirl on vectors of air,

and children laugh their way –

to one lost fruit tree.



Heather Saunders Estes lives in San Francisco. Her poems and photography have been published in Sisyphus, The Plum Tree Tavern, These Fragile Lilacs, Pangolin Review, and elsewhere.

Photograph by Finn Lafcadio O’Hanlon