In the wintry mountains above
Santa Fe, the snow is spotted with flecks of soot from the coal-
fired Navajo Generating Station, some 350 miles away.
Walking on a mountain
in Southern California,
I can smell the ashes
When Henry was roughing it
at Walden Pond, his mother was determining
dragons and snakes,
differentiating gems and stones, distinguishing black and white and
settling uncertainty, without an
eye on home, laundering the soot from her son's cabin.