croquet on the muskeg



we        boardwalk up mountainside
beeline past        dark treeline to eldritch earth 
watch yourself        among bog-blueberries
that teal and tart dart        bog-orchids marshmarigolds
violets fragile and nearly nothing        the moonlight above
below Taku winds scrape the town and churn the Channel

when        you play croquet on the
muskeg        slip the wickets in slow 
springy ground        peat and moss and twig
blandest crowberries        fronds of the western bracken stab
green-black sponge        our mallets rest on cedar silhouettes
ancient gnarled whorls stunted in the pitch mountain air
 
muskeg        it's tundra's insult it's 
helldeep         pothole ponds that sunk our balls
it's where you knew        i wouldn't be back for years
it's where moose trip        drown trapped in the permafrost
it's a verse from Mark or Matthew        a prophet beloved
everywhere except his skunk-cabbage hometown