14. S’More

On a cool summer evening in the San Juans

we gather around a chiminea to make s’mores.

Chocolate and graham crackers are no match

for our family’s flaming marshmallows.

The kids shout how best to roast puffed sugar.

We smush sticky fingers into the bag

grab our prey

perfect our technique

poke sticks into the fire over and over again.


“We should sing Kumbaya,” Mom says.


We laugh though

it doesn’t seem like a time for camp songs.

We need sweet summer blues

during this, our last vacation together.


Mom extends her stick into the flames,

her short, marshmallow hair bleached white

by chemo. The fire of her cancer contained

for now

in a vessel we can still jab with prayers.


We devour each bright moment

as if her bag of marshmallows will never run out.