Smoke and Fog

Anne Whitehouse

On one side of the road 
was ice and fog,
on the other, smoke and fire.

We were driving by the river
while the fire burned above us
a quarter-mile away. 

Cool on the driver’s side,
and on the passenger’s,
the closed window glass 
was hot to the touch.

Suffocating smoke
billowed into the air,
suffusing the atmosphere
like waterless blood.

The river was clogged 
with floes of ice
melting in a sudden thaw.

Drawn out of the snowmelt,
a hazy fog hung low 
over the water.

Above our heads,
above the roof of the car,
the smoke from the fire
met the fog off the ice.

The road took us 
straight up the middle,
as if that were a choice
we were free to make.

Anne Whitehouse is the author of six poetry collections and a novel, Fall Love. Recent honors include 2018 Prize Americana for Prose, 2017 Adelaide Literary Award in Fiction, 2016 Songs of Eretz Poetry Prize, 2016 Common Good Books’ Poems of Gratitude Contest, 2016 RhymeOn! Poetry Prize, 2016 F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald Museum Poetry Prize. She lives in New York City.

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