Creek Fire Bear

Red scabs
Where embers scorched away fur,
Blistered paws
From the last rush through flames,
An eye burned white,
Staring at nothing,
You stand below Sheep Creek.
Among boulders snowbound
By moonlight.
You lift your muzzle,
Snuff ice on the wind,
But no smoke.
Then – shoulders rippling
Like swift, black water –
You plunge
Into cool and blessed night.

-Poem by Robert Walton

Robert Walton’s novel, Dawn Drums was awarded first place in the 2014 Arizona Authors Association’s literary contest and also won the 2014 Tony Hillerman Best Fiction Award. With Barry Malzburg, Walton wrote The Man Who Murdered Mozart, published by Fantasy & SF in 2011. His “Do you feel lucky, Punk?” received a prize in the 2018 Bartleby Snopes dialog only contest. Most recently, his story, “Tryst” was published in The Ghost Story. Robert is a retired middle school teacher and a lifelong mountaineer with many ascents in the Sierras and Pinnacles National Park. He lives in King City, California.

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