The First Night
How strange it felt, to pile leaves on top
of my wool sweater. Tie orange sleeve to orange sleeve
before laying my head down.
My brother covered my body with leaves and needles,
so I could be nothing worth notice
and warm. Food was hard to find
before we discovered roots for winter,
rosehips for spring. In the summer and fall
bounty overwhelmed us. The longings we once held
for mattresses, refrigerators, lamps,
replaced by lakes and loons before the sun rose.
Knitting scraps of wool into sweaters.
Praying every day, earnest words
to the God we could all now feel coming.
“The First Night” is reprinted from Labletter.
Caitlin Elizabeth Thomson is a Canadian who married an American. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in numerous places, including: The Literary Review of Canada, The Liner, Echolocation, Labletter, and The Moth. Her second chapbook Incident Reports is forthcoming from Hyacinth Girl Press. She lives in Bellingham.