Thomas, My Child

You who could start a fire

with just those big, scarred hands,

you who wanted to read books on fire,

on forest safety,

glossy pages that all burst into flames

when you held them.

You who were only safe in the water,

I could not stop you from paddling north, alone

into that cut in the earth

where the flooding rivers freeze higher

than mountains,

I could not stop you

from diving through the shelf of ice below

and sinking into the buried highlands

where, by now, the cold winds have blown

all the fire from you

into the ice blue land

and water and sky.

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