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a literary journal published by the Black Earth Institute dedicated to re-forging the links between art and spirit, earth and society

Erin Dorney

Brush Fire Reaches Lake Ontario
Her fingers curl
around the smoothest stone,
filling her palm like a duck egg,
chalky, like grit in the bottom
of a bathing suit.
She looks across the lake,
summons an image
of the pebble skipping,
of her mother turning sallow,
frame propped up
and hollow.
Once, her mother said,
I can smell the sand!
and laughed. Then,
they walked through each step
of Great-Grandma Lens’ german roll cake,
dug and canned beets, bleeding
into mason jars.
She lowers the stone
to safety among zebra mussels
and yellow walleye darting.
Ashes catch her eye.
Good-bye, my dear.
The brush fire is coming.

Erin Dorney is from upstate New York and currently lives in Pennsylvania. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in The Pinch Literary Journal, The George Street Carnival, Birdfeast Magazine, Curio Poetry, and elsewhere. Erin received her BA from St. John Fisher College and her MA from West Chester University. You can learn more about her at


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