In Native legends, the large beast glitters in the sky
looking for a place to lie down or someone to protect.
On the cargo train rattling north
through the coastal mountains, a young mother
sits fatigued as hair clings to her skin
like black seaweed. Her face aimed toward
then receding from the landscape's view. The trees
and those dark slits inbetween -- hint at wild tinder,
sudden fires. Heat she has known in her village
as grenades, land mines, a kitchen blaze burgeoning
from a broken lamp. The chairs and table charred, a lost
altar for sharing bread or catching one's breath.
But in that part of the country, she could barely catch hers,
it was always out of reach. The pale moth (her toddler tried to grab)
hovering with its nervous wings around a thorn bush.
Now her son huddles close holding a tan bear. Last night
the bear was stitched with stars and filled with a brighter portion
of the universe. She had hope. Today, its' stuffed with straw
and soiled from their long journey here.
is still miles ahead ---
and the trees a waiting line of millions.