Final Thaw of Soft Earth

Something's not right with my river,
my mother says. And it is Truth: each
night the beavers pull apart saplings,
pull them apart fresh and at the edge.
The river gets blocked. The water stops
and at night I hear howling in the east.
In the year of the year of the plague —
this the age I restring my mother's
mother's Miraculous Medal and hang it
from my dash — the days are long as
a year. Ticks fall like spring melt
from branches and cling to the legs
of the moose calves. A great fir tree
falls on a man as he sleeps. The mountain
is angry, my mother says, and it is Truth.
In the days after this, another surgeon
would open me. There is never any
good explanation for my pain, which
is real. I must have it. Night after night,
this racket in the woods; the re-
building of the thaw-rushed dam which,
this time around, might make a good home.
This remarkable rumpus chirping hope.

Samantha DeFlitch is the author of Confluence (Broadstone Books, 2021). A National Poetry Series finalist, her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Iron Horse Literary Review, Colorado Review, The Missouri Review, Appalachian Review, and On the Seawall, among others. She lives in New Hampshire with her corgi dog, Moose.