Tectonic Plates

Cathy is in the twilight heat

Before the summer night

Moves like tectonic plates.

She tells me stories

Of shooting people in Vietnam

During the war


The rifle she used is under her bed.

I saw it when she asked me

To feed Molly while on vacation,

Cathy took her wife to Canada

To watch the dwindling caribou migrate.


It’s such a plain rifle, worn

Its wood stain nearly all rubbed off

The barrel dull, black and textured.

She drives hundreds of miles

To watch the caribou.


Cathy is in the twilight heat.

The sun is an orange throb.

She tells me how she used to hunt,

Southeast Oregon, Steens Mountain

Hauled back all of the animal

Limb by limb, organ by organ

Buckets of blood and fat.


I don’t like it when the sunrise is hazy

Cathy throws seeds to two blue jay parents

They’re always uptight, worried,

Especially when Molly chews grass near them.

A grey squirrel gnaws on antlers

In Cathy’s backyard. Antlers decades old.

A sprinkler chases the drought. 



8 Comments on “Tectonic Plates

  1. Thank you Elan. It is such an amazing journey to have a life grow inside of you and then to let it fly away to live the life it dreams of. I have two amazing sons.
    I so enjoy your writing. Keep sharing your voice.


  2. How much of our past stories make up who we are and what do we choose to hide about ourselves? This is full of summer heat and questions.


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