The Right Place


But believing that it might become a healthy place
by the blessing of heaven to the Saints,
and no more eligible place presenting itself,
I considered it wisdom to make an attempt to build up a city.
—Joseph Smith

Not one has made it.
Trout launch out of Snake Creek,
flipping through the air,
vaulting up the waterfall
falling back into the foam.
I’ve been watching them for an hour.
It’s November and the leaves
are dissolving on the ground.

Late tonight, one will make it.
She’ll burst out of the water,
the moonlight trickling through the trees
catching her in the air, a flash of silvery skin.
She’ll struggle up to the right place.
To clear water, gravel, and oxygen.
Dig a pocket and drop her eggs,
a spill of glowing beads.


Reprinted by permission from Tyler Chadwick, ed., Fire in the Pasture: Twenty-First Century Mormon Poets (El Cerrito, Calif.: Peculiar Pages, 2011), 403. Quote from “History of Joseph Smith,” Millennial Star 17 (May 5, 1855): 276.

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Print ISSN: 2837-0031
Online ISSN: 2837-004X