Leslie Schultz


Once on the slope
of Mount Rainier—
with other children—
I lit a match.

In the space between one
and the next
the newborn flame
began to burn my fingers,
so, without thinking,
I dropped it
into a nest of pine needles
where it crackled, flared,
surged like a fever,
wandered like a river.

Fortunately, we were many.

Five children stamping furiously
and singeing our rubber soles
saved the forest
from ourselves
that day,
but who,
will save us all now?

Leslie Schultz (Northfield, Minnesota) has three collections of poetry: Still Life with Poppies: ElegiesCloud Song; and Concertina (Kelsay Books) and Larks at SunriseLight-Hearted Poems for Dark Times (Green Ginkgo Press). Her poetry has appeared widely, including in Able MuseBlue UnicornHawai’i Pacific ReviewLight,MockingHeart Review, Mezzo CamminNaugatuck River Review, North Dakota Quarterly, One Art, Poet LoreThird WednesdayThe Midwest Quarterly, The Orchards, Tipton Poetry Review, and The Wayfarer; and in the sidewalks of Northfield. She serves as a judge for the Maria W. Faust Sonnet Contest. See more of her work at winonamedia.net.