Late February Fire Town on the River Plateau
This far north, the low February sun
smolders through a haze like October,
the dusty shade of peaches.
Without snow, stubble fields across the river
look toasted ripe as wheat in this light,
the flat waters of the Columbia bronzed molten,
Canadian geese that stayed the winter
throwing the thickness of their voices
back and forth among reeds.
In the long slant of sun at dawn and dusk,
bare trees light up
along streets in a hazy reverie of flame:
pedestrians along cold walkways linger
as though held within the barefoot warmth