Glacier National Park

On the far shore of Lake McDonald
their black stubble rises from the ridges
in stark reproof of childish notions of
wilderness where trees never burn and die
lodgepole pine cones never open
bugs never burrow in wood to
feed birds and grizzlies
scorched trunks and limbs
never break and turn to dust …
smoke from a dozen wildfires now
burning outside the park remind me
to smell death with every breath
to feel the heat of combustion
that sustains and consumes us.