These Wire Cages

Cascade River State Park, MN

Along the trail on the western side of Cascade River, a sign
affixed to one of a cluster of wires circled around
adolescent trees reads: These wire cages.
The broken-away bottom likely continued:
protect white pine seedlings from browsing deer
but guessing that doesn’t stop me from viewing
the cages themselves as works of art labeled by a curator
just beginning her work. Nothing yet noted for this fern
or those stone steps mortared with mud.
For lichen dotted like aboriginal paintings etched to boulders.
Tree trunks and shadows in dizzying effect or roots lifted
from the earth like tarantulas furred with moss.
Specimens for how what separates
can grow together again. All of which I pass
year after year along with the decomposition
of a once waist-high log measured against the height
of my growing child. As we meander back down the slope
our hands pass over log rails worn smooth
by generations leaning to view
that waterfall.

“…from a little trip ‘up north’ as we call it in Minnesota.”

Micki Blenkush lives in St. Cloud, MN and works as a social worker. She was selected as a 2017-2018 fellow in poetry for the Loft Literary Center’s Mentor Series program and is a 2015 & 2019 recipient of grants awarded through the Central MN Arts Board. Her book, Now We Will Speak in Flowers, is forthcoming with Blue Light Press summer of 2020. Micki’s writing has recently appeared in Typishly, Cagibi, and Crab Creek Review. www.mickiblenkush.com

See more of her work in 8.3 and 8.3 again