Looking for Cane Creek Furnace
Jake Adam York

Where by all accounts it should have been,
a stone millhouse without a wheel,
its grindstones strewn about the woods,
the creek, and the armyís fence,
the armyís ditch and razor wire 
that keep us from the weapons dump,
chemical igloos 
gleaming bright as molten iron.
Cold chain link scalds our hands
as we scan that frozen village
for the stone foundationís jags,
where slag would crackle underfoot
and you could touch the smooth hearth floor
where the Merrimacís plates were forged.
But the signs all say itís death
till after we are dead and gone.

We turn as smoke gathers in the branches
then scatters like crows
before the millhouse windows catch the sun.
When the glare fades
the man and his wife are fighting.
She pleads as he lands the answers
that rock her like shells
on the range beyond the hill.
When he turns to stoke the fire,
their faces catch the glow.
The fire slides down her cheeks.
And here the wind plays leaves on my ears,
crackle of water arguing with stone
or ice underfoot, as overhead the trees
shiver quicker in the rising heat.
 
Originally appeared in Louisiana Literature

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