During the Colorado floods we had plans for escape,
for Durango, for Mesa. We were hitching a trailer south.
We were, in fact, gone. On higher ground we slit trout
down to the bone and scrubbed our bloody hands
in the lake. Sun twitched beneath our skin.
A farmer called from Lyons and told us
the news: two draft mares, still hitched, shoulder-high
in the mud. One shot. Neck limp.
Another shot. Breath gone. Two echoes trailed
at the bare backs. As we listened, clouds
grew loud and heavy. More rains headed straight
for the creek of our coming years. Even now the wind takes
to the gate every summer, and small tin lanterns
tremble, dusting their own flames for proof.
Shawn Fawson works and lives with her family in Denver, Colorado. Her book Giving Way won the Library of Poetry Book Award and was published by The Bitter Oleander Press in 2010. Her work is forthcoming in Chatauqua, Spoon River Poetry Review, and Vallum, among others. She has an MFA from Vermont College of Fine Arts.