Editor’s Note: It is customary to ask our featured author to write a comment about the work presented to readers. When asked, Ron Riekki replied that as much as he appreciated sharing his words, he is “currently deployed for a Disaster response team.” He requested that we introduce his writing. We chose his poem for its perspective, as if you could reason with the unimaginable . . . as well as for speaking with clarity of relevance, form, and voice. The poet writes from California.
(The Number of the Heat) When the Fires
behind our house insisted
they be allowed in our house,
my father took buckets of water
and asked the flames if they would
accept the water but the fire said
it wanted our house and our bodies
and everything it saw in front of its
absent eyes and my father said
he wanted the fires’ death, the both
of them battling with my father
running to the house’s hose, holding
it up at the sky that refused to take
sides, refused to rain, but accepted
all the smoke of our childhood
photos, the smoke of our money,
the smoke of our fingers and phones
and lamps and shoes and trees
and memories and air and hope.
Ron Riekki has received numerous awards for poetry, fiction, nonfiction, and screenplays. His books in 2019 include: Posttraumatic: A Memoir (Hoot ‘n’ Waddle), Undocumented: Great Lakes Poets Laureate on Social Justice (Michigan State University Press, with Andrea Scarpino), and The Many Lives of The Evil Dead: Essays on the Cult Film Franchise (McFarland, with Jeff Sartain). He lives in California. Website: rariekki.webs.com.
Delmarva Review publishes evocative new poetry and prose selected from thousands of submissions annually. Designed to encourage outstanding writing, the literary journal is nonprofit and independent, supported in part by a grant from the Talbot County Arts Council with funds from the Maryland State Arts Council. Website: www.DelmarvaReview.org.
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