by Jo Ann Baldinger
Wildfires were the rage in Augustwhipping up and down the West Coast. One of them, we heard, grand-jete’d itselfclear across the broad Columbia. We heard of cormorants sucked from flightinto the boiling river.Downtown, disposable face masks trended big.Will they keep me safe from harm?What about my name, which translates as “God’s One”?-- a common generic brand, it turns out, that bestows no special treatment.It’s possible that everything is comme il faut.We get up each morning, make the bed.Dinner parties and hospital corners are said to be beneficial, markers of a civilized society.Yet we have arrived at another loss, a Saxon wordthat began as a wooden signpost at the crossroads with arrows labelled Butterwick or Pingwell Haw on the sweet presumption that God’s Ones can divine the next direction if not the why of it. None of us has really laughed since Election Day.