Donald Mitchell

(for my brothers)

We can smell them
long before we see
the fallen cottonwood
on the other bank,
or the pale bones
of chewed stumps.
It’s a blend
of resin and musk,
stronger than any church incense.
More like a song
it drifts against the wind
following the steelhead
upstream. Such places
obey different laws
than we obey. Our father
taught us
to be taught
by signs like this.


Donald Mitchell live in Deming, WA on his family’s 130 year-old homestead. He is a self-published poet and his works include the collections Signs of Faith, The Shark Skin Man: A Story and Poems, and Hello Eternity. Raised by a preacher who was also a woodsman and fur trapper, he found an early draw to the soul of the woods and streams of the Nooksack River watershed. This attraction led him to interests in biology, anthropology, comparative culture and religion and the perilous art of making poems.

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