Creative Writing News

Ursa Minor: Poetry inspired by real Northern news

deep sky astrophoto

“Lost Mushroom Picker ‘Emerged From Bush’ Five Days After Going Missing.” CBC. June 9, 2016.

Maybe This is Home Now

(A Short Story)

in all the bright night

the white pines complain

we are dead now, we are dead now, we are dead now

that the fire

has come and gone

and burnt us out

 

their moaning is accompanied by the singing

of strangely joyless joyful birds whose mechanical

wind-up spring voices never sleep, saying

in the hour before dusk which stretches

out to become the hour before dawn

in this country, it’s always spring

until it’s not

 

there have been many days of this

frequently, you consult

the wisdom of your compass, your compass says

you’re fucked

 

from time to time you think you hear

the whirring buzz of turning blades, the bumblebees

of civilization, single-engine search and rescues humming

it’s time to come home

it’s time to come home

you are loved, but

 

whenever you look up

it is only Raven

with his nine thousand nine hundred and ninety nine words

lounging like a lover

blue-black in the burnt-black arms

of an alder, whispering

you should just give up

 

making a pillow of the crumbling moss you pull

your loneliness and desires about you for a blanket, feel the roots

of all the things you left behind decay, consider

the full emptiness of a sky which has forgotten stars, say,

maybe this is home now


Editors note: Author Lori Garrison, herself a mushroom picker, was present at this burn site and witnessed the helicopters and search teams looking for the lost man.

Photo: istockphoto/standret

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