Scout Camp

a fairy ring of mushrooms wafting spores
lean akimbo in their camping chairs
and tip floppy hats to each other.
They contemplate insects
crawling slowly like thoughts across
their pensive lower gills.

Basketballs of flame dribble cross the court of logs
trees above do a Mexican wave in the Fuller brush of a strong wind.
They flow like taste buds on a tongue of earth.
They ponder morsels of kerchiefed children
in their scouting shirts of blue and brown and green,
sewn diamonds of iron-on acheivement.
Lost beads, a rainbow of plastic round their young necks,
they blouse their boots against coral snakes.

Scoutmasters, the barkers of discipline,
juggle threats, some ability, and a firepit of rewards:
smores and hot dogs.
Mountain pies.
The food hisses in its longing,
feels itself aging too quickly,
shellacked like ancient furniture
angled in a parking lot flea market
showing a little leg,
waiting for a collector who won’t
flip it to the ground,
disgusted by its burnt and fragile nature.

The future is so uncertain.
We dread it like the locust we know to swarm every 17 years.

Find structure in the bugler who says the day is done.
Find security in the teardrop loop of a slip knot.
Find comfort in the feral wings of the hidden cicada.
Find a horizon beyond this future and grope for it.
It is green like a firefly
or the phytoplankton that light our shores in nightwaves.

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