Na Sik Elt: Icicle Creek

by Subhaga Crystal Bacon

Hidden on the north side of na sik elt,
under the boughs of cedar that bend
down as if to drink, a whole universe
of moss. It’s like a dream of earth
before white men came, green
and lush, and variegated. Tiny lakes
dot the land where last night’s rain
is caught, reflecting back sky and branch
At water’s edge, a broken cedar knee
worn smooth with years bows to river’s
song, its long-throated hymn to those gone
from bankside camp. Not the white haired
man in his camper van, not me, here
enjoying this stolen solace. I say hymn,
but maybe it’s a song of moving on,
taking everything along to the open sea.
A death and a birth song: I belong to me.


Subhaga Crystal Bacon is a Queer poet living in rural northcentral Washington on unceded Methow land. She is the author of four collections of poetry including Transitory, recipient of the Isabella Gardner Award for Poetry, forthcoming in the fall of 2023 from BOA Editions, and Surrender of Water in Hidden Places, winner of the Red Flag Poetry Chapbook Prize. Her recent work appears or is forthcoming in 45th Parallel, Rogue Agent, The Indianapolis Review, and Rise Up Review. She is an avid hill-walker and lover of nature who spends most days contemplating what’s moving, growing, or arriving around her.