By Sam Owen

between Cougar Flats and Rising Eagle

looking south and east and back to south

weather vane’s tedious turning predicts

which way I’ll drive outta here, cat

squawling in the back of the car

split decisions on what to take

huffing up and down stairs with

handmade dulcimer, photos,

favorite shirt, and documents

listing what’s left behind

hulking black clouds split and roil up

growing plumes growing fresh fears

and feathery ash, at night

the hill behind me sparkles

like city lights, alone at home

split from voices on the phone,

email, even snail mail can’t

get through, no way to say

we’re ok, split from

a firefighter pulling hose line

flames splitting around him

Sam Owen lives in Winthrop.