The sounds of one species’ extinction reverberate,
heard more sharply by all those who have relied upon it.

But now imagine an un-extinction — a return from silence.
Imagine who was first to discover a dawn redwood

growing tall and sturdy on the floor of a valley,
deep in a Sichuan forest in 1943.

Was it a forester who actually arrived first?
Recognizing the tree he stood beneath from fossil evidence?

Or earlier on, was there some bright green caterpillar,
inching upward, along reddish-brown trunk and branches?

Some deep intuition leading a tiny bow
to the gentle, curving body of a violin, 

hidden underneath brown boxes,
coated in dust?

Ashley Mabbitt’s poems have appeared in Plume, The Ekphrastic Review, and South Florida Poetry Journal. She lives in Brooklyn, NY and manages international copyrights at a publishing company. Ashley earned her BA in English & Creative Writing at Binghamton University.