We Try to Have a Picnic near the Shockingly Low Phillips Reservoir in the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest during the Unprecedented Summer 2015 Pacific Northwest Heat Wave by Nancy Flynn

We chase the shade from table
to tabletop, spend the day

supine to stave off the scorch.
The dry breeze carries a whiff,

pine-needle ponderosa
past my yoga-corpse pose where

I lie then seize the sky en-
tire. My brain has caught on fire.

Below, a berm of fallen
branch & duff, some fine, most rough

will (one day) fuel to fan a
catastrophic rage. Our new

age, burning up. But first? More
news of that day’s death-by-gun.




Nancy Flynn grew up on the Susquehanna River in northeastern Pennsylvania, spent many years on a downtown creek in Ithaca, New York, and now lives near the mighty Columbia in Portland, Oregon. She attended Oberlin College, Cornell University, and has an M.A. in English from SUNY/Binghamton. A former university administrator, her writing has received an Oregon Literary Fellowship and the James Jones First Novel Fellowship. Her full-length poetry collection, Every Door Recklessly Ajar (Cayuga Lake Books) appeared in 2015; Anchor & Plume Press published her long poem, Great Hunger, in 2016. Her website is http://www.nancyflynn.com.