Embrace by Janie StapletonPoecology
Issue 5

Jennifer Fandel


I miss the reds, jacks, and tamaracks
              hunkered on the high banks
              of Superior’s shale cliffs
where winter knuckles the pines with ice
and they shadow in the late summer sun.

                            This feeling is hard
                            to live with long.

In the deep green before they reached
the shore, the lumbermen cut the pines
              away, sent logs afloat
down the Brule and Namekagon,
              leaving too much sky.

When they came to the fabled Gitche Gumee,
              they put down their saws and axes
              to listen for the wind’s thin scream
through the needles, to touch the lichen
              on the shade-side bark.

Oh virgin logs, oh high timber skiff
              hauled by horses through the necessary snow.
In decades of spring melt, in tremulous winds,
              more swinging boughs went down.

                            I am lost to what happened
                            and with what remains.