Home is not what the woman
had imagined. Late fall, the fields
are cropped to stubble, the mountain
already rust and smoke. The trees
must have flamed here but she’s
too late. The man has threaded himself
through the trees on their best
black horse, and a hawk has dropped
its shadow on the child and won’t
lift it away. The girl is learning to read
the world, and every turned page
reveals something peculiar, wholly new.
In the story of the mountain, the trees
burn for as long as they can bear it,
the horizon blurs and wobbles
like a heat mirage. The woman
doesn’t know how the story ends.
Like the mountain, it has a shape,
but she’s too close to see it whole.