Emily Ransdell

Fire Season


Days made entirely of wind,
weeks of ripening wheat
flattened by the sun’s ticking clock.
Everyone’s worried about fire
and no one goes out past noon
but the Mormon boys,
making their rounds in trousers
and starched white shirts,
determined as the dead, and in pairs.
They try to lure us out
with good news —Christ is coming.
But we don’t answer the door.
Why should we, all the news we need
comes right to our smartphones,
140 characters at a time.
The country’s gone mad,
says the world. Meanwhile,
one strike of lightning
could set this whole county ablaze.


About the writer:
Emily Ransdell’s work has appeared in Poetry Northwest, Poet Lore, Sugar House Review, The Cortland Review and elsewhere. Ransdell has been a finalist for the Rattle Poetry Prize and the New Letters Prize in Poetry. A four-time Pushcart nominee, she divides her time between Camas, Washington, and the North Oregon Coast.

Image: Fire by Azam Atakhanov. Oil on canvas. 65 x 120 cm. 2013. By permission. Atakhanov is the O:JA&L Featured Artist for June 2019.