Fire Followers

Each hike has a shape to it, a narrative.


Fire Followers


Three days after a doc dug

melanoma out of his shoulder,

he called me to hike with him

to Bear Paw Cave,

an easy mile along the Manzana

but then three steep ones

to the ridge-top on a hot trail

swarming with deer flies.

Yet I had no reason to question why,

our old men’s love for hiking

in the mountains unspoken.

At the burn area he took photos

of bright wildflowers

growing out of charred soil.

Later, as we shinnied our way

up the rock face to the cave,

him favoring his healing shoulder,

me boosting his butt from below,

I saw the images of bear paws and antlered animals,

the red scorpion painted beneath a black roof dotted

with patterns of white, constellations,

maybe, as seen a thousand years ago,

another reason for him to show me this holy place,

of wildflowers that follow fire

and quail calling out to one another,

watching their young.

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I've been writing mostly poetry for many years and have gotten a number of works accepted in publications and anthologies. I'm most interested in communicating with poets for whom craft is a high priority. I enjoy finding and commenting on poetic gems in other people's work. For my own work, I welcome polite comments, whether positive or critical.

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