By Edwina Pendarvis
Salamanders, startled into being,
flicker far away. Through the banked fires
of autumn moss and leaf-litter,
they arc across the synapses
of yellow birch and red spruce
on mountain peaks lifted from an empty sea.
Triumphant myriads—scarlet, brass-flecked, jet-black
and muddy (autochthonous as Adam),
sluggish or coursing through the roiling streams,
their slimy skins, their tiny hands
twinkle into and out of starlight,
auguring, not a millennium,
but a kind of joy.
Edwina Pendarvis is Professor Emerita at Marshall University, where she taught for thirty years.