Devil’s Lake

Spring 2015 Issue

Corrie Williamson: Arrow Marks the Spot Where His Dash to a Terrible Ending Occurred

—1911 postcard of Cromwell Dixon’s last flight from Helena, Montana

The photo snares the plane in gray afternoon light:
spiderlike, pale spruce in intricate geometry,

absurdly airborne, its wheels fit for a child’s

wagon. Pilot and cockpit are unseen, hovering
somewhere beyond the engine’s growl, moments

before the plunge. There’s no doubt

the field in the photo is the site of the crash, but still,
a tiny arrow, hand-drawn in scratchy black ink

points to a more specific emptiness

soon to be torn and scorched. But what agency,
what intention, in that word, as if, after crossing

the Divide, the jagged maw of the Rockies

passed unfed, cottonwoods and aspen dripping
in yellow tongues down damp, sluicing gulches

and blazing along the edges of the fairground,

as a cold October wind prickled his scalp,
there was only one thing left to do to make

the moment last: that larking, that prideful—dash.

CORRIE WILLIAMSON is the author of Sweet Husk, winner of the 2014 Perugia Press Prize. Her poems have most recently appeared or are forthcoming in AGNI, Triquarterly, 32 Poems, The Missouri Review, and Crab Orchard Review. She is currently at work on a manuscript of poems that travel between early-nineteenth-century Virginia in the town of Fincastle, where she grew up, and modern day southwestern Montana, where she lives and teaches. More from this issue >