I Lose My Mother to a Forest Fire


Which is not to say the sunset couldnít use
the help. Salmon sky and we have so few
calamities: the odd avalanche, cowboys thrown
by gopher holes. You canít look up without thinking
you wrecked a Duster just that color in an LA quake.
Strata squabble here, but quietly. The Rockies send tornadoes
packing back to Nebraska. Sure, weíve got bottled water,
racked shelves of canned tomatoes, fat candles. Not that
anything ever happens. OK, that couple who drowned
in the Big Thomson. And the hail. Those two ghouls
who rang doorbells Ė my neighbor thought it was my boys
and filled their bags with Butterfingers. Or apples
laced with razor blades. I canít remember. Did I say
my mother? I meant a mailman. Iím always
doing that. And it was a tsunami.

Indiana Review, Winter 2002