Here’s all of Carly’s poem!

Apr 29, 2014

Our sincere apologies for inadvertently leaving off the latter part of Carly Dow’s poem in the spring issue.Here’s the whole poem now:

Flame Keepers
by Carly Dow

We are flame keepers.

Flame throwers, although
it was not a deliberate toss
of the match.

I held the tender fire to
my breast, sheltering
from the insistent wind.

Our hands
found each other in the dark,
formed worlds out of river clay,
sank nails into rich humus
of earthly decay and muck.

We became builders
and forgot the tiny fires.

Somewhere amidst grappling
in hideaway places, muddying our
bodies with wet handprints,
our forest haven went up in flame.

Mighty orange, surging heat
from 100-year fuel,
hissing and immediate.

The doe and fox panicked,
smoke burning their nostrils.

The floor was curling up,
wild sarsaparilla and Labrador tea
crisping into black paper leaves.

Pine beetles sizzled and popped,
heating inside their shell homes.

covered in so many
blackened skins,
we lay twin and newborn
on a bed of soot.

The pines
showered their children
to the sore ground,
the fire of collapse
having coaxed their chrysalises
into life phase.

Only the trees, with their
ebony-smooth scars, are old
enough to remember.


Only the trees know

the nature of my love for you.

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