Two children slosh muddy Keds in water,
unearth salamanders that burrow webbed toes in silt.
The boy will leave behind his smile in branches
when their mother calls them for supper,
baking bread, forgetting the salt.
They watch fireflies wink in the backyard woods,
bottle the light snuffed out by morning.
It was not as though the sister turned away
and her brother was gone through the wardrobe,
but that morning the salamander spread its toes deep
and would not come out. There was no salamander.
Only a creek and a brother.
Open the window to let in the sky.
He will still be there when you go looking.
Danielle Beazer Dubrasky is the author of Drift Migration (Ashland Poetry Press), Editor’s Choice for the Richard Snyder Poetry Publication Prize, which includes this poem. She is a professor of creative writing at Southern Utah University where she directs the Grace A. Tanner Center for Human Values and an eco-poetry/essay conference. Danielle received her Ph.D. in creative writing from the University of Utah and an MA in English/Creative Writing from Stanford University.