Little North Fork

Joe Wilkins

When the rains finally came
the slope—clearcut a decade back,
fire-stripped this past September—

slid into the river.
Like the round mouths of storms
or the salmon’s loose eye,

topsoil and ash turned an hour
in the current. And what was
went away.

Joe Wilkins is author of the novel, Fall Back Down When I Die, which was a finalist for both the Center for Fiction’s First Novel Award and the Pacific Northwest Book Award, and a winner of the 2020 High Plains Book Award. Wilkins is also the author of a memoir, The Mountain and the Fathers, winner of a 2014 GLCA New Writers Award, and four collections of poetry, including Thieve and When We Were Birds, winner of the Oregon Book Award. Born and raised in eastern Montana, Wilkins lives with his family in the Yamhill Valley of Oregon, where he directs the creative writing program at Linfield University.

Originally published in Moss: Volume Seven.

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