Park in Reykjavik, Iceland

The wind has snatched the Frisbee
and the boy scrambles into the bushes
to catch it in flight as though the ground
would score a point for touching it first.
In shorts, he slackens and bolts back straight
to navigate the walls of cut-off branches.
When he throws the Frisbee to the woman
who left her purse half-spilled on the bench,
the wind deflects it and cues the race again.
No one reads the newspaper that dances
across the square by the flower garden,
but there must be news about wind somewhere:
a typhoon that tore roofs off the huts in Ghana
or a man who died of chill in the coldest capital.
So often the elements give us hints
of what they’re capable of; if we stay whole
through them, we call it cleansing, games.
Today at the Blue Lagoon, my wife and I winced
at the jagged rocks under the steaming surface
and walked until the heat nearly blistered
before the signs by the incline that urged No Entry.
The edges too blunt to puncture skin
cause the feet not to cower but to step on bravely,
and sometimes even blood—a scar to keep—
only tempts us to laugh off more.
At the park now, the boy rolls his pant leg higher
to show his mark to the younger one beside him,
this red jag that will heal to pink the new trophy.
The woman shakes her purse, no tissue in sight.
The wind, which started this, will fan the leg dry.

A native of Fullerton, California, Michael Miller is the co-founder of Moon Tide Press and the author of College Town (Tebot Bach, 2010) and The First Thing Mastered (Tebot Bach, 2013). A longtime journalist, he has written for the Los Angeles Times and other publications and won a 2014 Orange County Press Club award.
*Photo courtesy of Stuart Chalmers.
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