My guess is that the person who built the fire
in the woods outside the interstate rest stop
was one of the persons sitting on benches,
someone who saw us step from our car
and look at the smoke drifting out of the woods.

How relieved that person must have been
as we continued into the building. How sad
they must have felt as we left the building,
looked at the smoke, and entered the woods,
where a campfire smoldered not far from
five or six old campfires. We called 911
and waited for firemen who put out the home

as we drove to the Missouri Botanical Gardens,
where seven-thousand-dollar Chihuly glass bowls
were for sale in the gift shop.


Mark Williams’s poems have appeared in “The RavensPerch,” “The Southern Review,” “Rattle,” “Nimrod,” “Writers Resist,” and other journals. His fiction has appeared or is forthcoming in “Cleaver,” “Eclectica,” “Bull: Men’s Fiction,” “Gargoyle,” “The Main Street Rag,” and anthologies at Running Wild Press. He lives in Evansville, Indiana.