After the rain has come along and swept
the cap of evergreens, and the crows made still
the forest with their wings, after they've leapt
into the fog, we hear our mother's bell
and spot far off the lights I won't forget:
the yellow lamp, the TV on, the bare
white bulb above the stove, her cigarette,
still lit, converging as our Northern Star.
We're eight and nine, back from the barn that burned,
an outing that you didn't want to lead.
It always was the two of us. We learned
to hone our anger in the wetland weed.
Grimy those nights, we trudged from Muddy Lake,
both hungry from the wars that children make.