|The Loons Are Thundering
is all I remember of the wild
poem lost somewhere on a black-spruce
portage, permafrost pushing up
to bog, its dainty carnivorous
flowers its mosquito clouds, the whole
bog-meadow sublimating to thunder,
an end-of-summer wind blowing us
south, the spruce retreating
out of range like loons from a stormy
lake, that wild poem sucking
energy from blackbelly clouds.
She used to have nightmares
like this: dancing barefoot
with steel-shod horses,
the gravelly earth sparking
and flashing, shadows shattering,
sweat flecking off black shoulder
muscles, withers and haunch.
Of course she couldn't run away,
that's what nightmares mean.
The horses pranced and arched
their necks, snorting horse-
song. And so in time she learned
to dance like she's dancing now,
with a sudden joy.