Tending Fire

This entry is part 18 of 18 in the series Morning Porch Poems: Summer 2013


Back then, when this was possible,
the sky might have filled
at dusk with wood-smoke, wispy
evidence of leaf-burning—

Domestic issue, those little fires
fed carefully in the yard
by mothers or grandmothers:
sentinels, furies, not one

of the immortals and yet
they watched to tamp
the headstrong flame,
conscripting fire

to interrupt the process,
consume the rot that creeps,
threatens to take hold
of the green and growing.

But there’s a cost to this
sort of tending, of waging
constant war against decline
which wants to have

its way, always—
Leave it alone a second,
turn aside; believe in its warm
disguises, and quickly rue.


In response to an entry from the Morning Porch.

Series Navigation← Urgency

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