Summer 2016 — THE POTOMAC

Prayer for Rain

Carol Berkower

     Oregon, August 2015

Remember the slit black eye of the sturgeon,
leviathan that played in Columbia's murky bed
and brushed triceratops with rayed fins?

Remember Sierra snowpack's spring melt
drenching pine and mesquite,
bear and elk?

Remember Sockeye's desperate leaps?
She scaled the Willamette rung by rung
to breed and die in its headwaters.

Now parched mesquite erupt like geysers.
Fire roars like a waterfall red and black
and boils like water.

The red torrent flows southward.
Salmon seeks the glacier with poached eye but sees nothing.
An owl nest ignites.

Farther south, San Gabriel's peaks
curl over the city like a cresting wave
storing up havoc and await their cue.


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