After sunset we put up walls,
check wires, replace fodder, light candles,
wait for the burst of ignition, chant to spirits

oh, lovely flames surround us
with your heat and light
protect us from virus through the night

At dawn, we sweep burnt shells of insects,
and sadly bury skeletons of stray animals
seeking safety, too.

Sara Backer

Art: “Wild Fire” by Roman Rivera

Poetry by Sara Backer

Sara Backer’s first book of poetry, Such Luck (Flowstone Press 2019) follows two poetry chapbooks: Scavenger Hunt (dancing girl press) and Bicycle Lotus (Left Fork). Her poem “Fire Escapes” won a prize in the 2019 Plough Poetry Competition. Recent publications include The Pedestal, Cider Press Review, Tar River Poetry, DMQ Review, and Slant. She holds an MFA from Vermont College of Fine Arts, teaches at UMass Lowell, and lives in the Merrimack River watershed.

Art by Roman Rivera

Roman is a wildlife photographer based in Boulder, Colorado. He admits that he hasn’t photographed much wildlife recently, but he’ll settle for autumn colors and looming skies.