Oscoda 1920 1229 Lisa Folkmire

It was my first skeleton,
the once birch forest now bare

Look, the command like water
dripping from our mother’s
mouth as we all turned our
heads to drink from
curiosity. The arms

lifting to the violent
blue above, like fingers
reaching higher

still, as if to coax new
life into them, the spines
creaking, bare backs in
the wind. I had never seen

such dryness, such emptiness
defined by one image as our
father drove slow past
the mile long crypt.

We were watching
for the living, the ones
we wouldn’t see
past the green forest.

For the bears and
wolves and cougars
we were warned about.

Still, nothing.
As if it could thirst
forever, as if we too
could burn to new ash.

The final moans of bark,
the land itself bone.

Header photograph © Andrew Hall.

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