Lisa Ampleman


Victory, WI

All hail the crumbling stone monument
to the Battle of Bad Axe, the wooden helve

long rotted and burned, the short walk to the river,
where we can bathe in its brown,

where a steamboat ghost huffs out
a stream of bullets. We are invulnerable

to their spectral lead, descendants
of fur traders (beaver, ermine,

skunk). Our lungs are clean and pink. Let’ s visit
the saw shop, the greenhouse with bluff views,

the pines and stacks of firewood,
the Blackhawk general store, named for