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daniel j. rortvedt

december 13, 2023


for Walter & Edna

It happens now and is impossible to summarize.

An artifact of lost coins on the Light Rail.

Stomach pain.

Now the house
               settles infinitesimally until it becomes absolute.

We steep tea. Kale arrives from California
burnt green, stale, sealed in a clear plastic bag. Machines

pour layers of concrete over the place my grandfather 

               stooped to pick stones and throw them

                               into five-gallon buckets beneath the apple trees.

How, then, to evaluate circumstance? 

What, then, does it mean to find

silver coho salmon in the frozen aisle at the Denver supermarket? 

A bottleneck on I-25? Yellowjackets

born out of dirt holes beneath the elm tree, 

                 between hibiscus & hostas,

                                 in the folds of the limestone?


Daniel J. Rortvedt is an occupational therapist, educator, writer and editor. He completed degrees at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Boston University. Previous work appears in HOUSEGUEST, The Montucky Review, and elsewhere. He lives in the Midwestern United States with his wife and children.

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