Shock was not
canvas tents strung along
the shore of Lake Superior, rather than sleazy
shag-carpeted motel rooms south of Marathon.
Shock was not flying clear dome bell chopper
black fly and bear territory
land-on-a-dime river side
in the middle of the God-forsaken-wilderness, or
God’s country depending on how you look at it.
Shock was not watching Roy walk pissed off
straight into the bush, for a three hour no map
bush-whack straight back to camp
to roll cigarettes and hork into a smoldering fire.
Not night sky infinity,
white pin pricks bleeding out heaven.
Not sound absence,
adrenaline blood rush pregnant voids.
Not off-res native boys
hard luck blind drunk fireside fights.
The shock was
axe cut clean through his work boot,
Dan felled like a lodgepole,
to the forest floor.