BUILDING A FIRE BY THE BAPTISM RIVER
I’ve wound down the spiral
of highway 61
coming at last to this stretch of pine and brush,
a few charred stumps from a fire years ago,
land that is my own.
A quick stream brings messages
to Lake Superior, baptizing it
with holy water.
I’ve built my tepee fire so close
the flame bites the water. At night
the thin water over rocks burns white
and in the wet fog I look for wood
beneath boughs and rocks.
The darkness crowds in quickly.
I feel the shadow
of a pine touch me
lightly on the head.
First published in Everyday Poets June 2009