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Saturday, August 05, 2017


by Jayne Marek

Image source: CTV News Vancouver

morning sky furred by a pale layer so the sun is deep orange
sailor take warning          firefighter take warning

a layer so thin it passes over the Strait like hands giving blessing
but five miles distant          there is no more island

heat even in the northlands begins to rise to spread
to reach inside          where breath scrapes one’s throat

there is so much dried to a crust so anguished and tight
it resists water that could save it          it will shed

the chemicals of desperation in the gray understory
of neglected woods          it will begin to die

all by itself even without the fire stringing its way underneath
the bones of grass          the shattered nests

of starved quail and under the lost tooth of a coyote
that could no longer run          death of the hunter

death of the stands of cedar and fir of alder and salal
death to us all          take up the shovel

and begin to dig a fire line not yet needed on this acre
but what fell from human grasp          will soon blow here

Jayne Marek’s first full-length poetry book is In and Out of Rough Water. Her poetry and art photos appear in About Place Journal, 3Elements, Sin Fronteras, Notre Dame Review, Sliver of Stone, Spillway, Tipton Poetry Journal, Central American Literary Review, and elsewhere.