Dangerous Children

Their house was on a dirt road

off the highway,

the children whose father sold

logs to my father.

There was no paint on those weathered boards.

The floors were bare.

Those eight children,

leaned across the supper table

to stare at me.

There was no difference

between breath and breathe.

They breathed

quick, smudged breaths

like mushrooms.

The lamp gulped for life

in a world without light

switches, without the click,

click of baseboard heat.

If they had to, I knew they could

lure a salmon into an open net,

set leg traps, wire snares,

skin a caribou down to its meat.

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