Poetry

Bad Nights in Tents

I. Park Rapids One of my worst, and certainly the first: I was eleven, camping at Wilderness. It was so cold a propane gas line burst, so any spark could make the cabin blow. Out to our igloos. Forty-two below. How is that done? You dig down to the ground, then pitch your tent, using for insulation The Star Tribune and shoveled snow, then bless the ridgepole with your flashlight’s fading glow. The tent collapses with a cracking sound. II. Isle Royale Twelve years later: this tent was waterproof? The Minong Trail, north shore of Isle Royale, I didn’t trench…

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