Still Life with Copper Creek and the Unabomber

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

The name spoke of sharp light
gathered around stones and cast up

against the undersides of aspen
leaves or carried for miles

in a hawk’s rusty plumage.
But the place had burned,

and though a few pines
sheltered the brook, all else

was scar and skeleton,
whole swaths of antlered trees

and dust, Snowbank Lake a low
puddle where cutthroat

turned bellyup. The nearest town
was Lincoln, its tiny library

the one in which Kaczynski
made his requests for just

a little-odd interlibrary loans,
though the librarian there

called him polite, quiet,
and where in a clapboard cabin

he tamped his hatred into cold
cylinders. He would claim

that it was development –
a road through wilderness he loved –

that turned his mind to darkness.
How long fire must have been kept

from this place, deadfall and brush
piling, awaiting ignition,

the jackpine and lodgepole dropping
year after year the cones

which require flame to spread
their seeds, to pry open

sap's seal like some fetal fist,
fingers cracking apart

at last, that spreads,
and reaches, and grips. 

Tuesday, January 20, 2015