Landscape, with Summer Bonfires

This entry is part 52 of 55 in the series Morning Porch Poems: Spring 2012


In the foyer, rippled leaves like giant seaweeds droop. Who remembers to water the plants when everyone is gone? The air-conditioning sends chilled drafts down, but the heat of high summer is yet to come. Overhead, the skylight’s a square of marbled white, like some trapdoor in the basement of the gods. The first fire-stealer broke off a branch of glowing coal, embers hidden in a fennel stalk, falling headlong with it back into the world. Take that, he spat to the vengeful ones. At the edge of the park, eagles circle overhead and return to the same tree. If you raise your binoculars, you can see them bring back things in their beaks, shred pieces of meat for their hungry young. And the liver, oh the liver: peck it out to nearly nothing and still it grows back. See if you can stop the history— Trains and ironworks rushing forward, sparks’ hot striving from struck metal. Hibachis firing up, backyards soaked in the smoke of summer barbecues and shishkebobs, scritch of a match on the sole of a shoe; bonfires staining the woods defiant red, even as the sun goes down.


In response to an entry from the Morning Porch.

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