Today's poem is by Terry Blackhawk

The Burn

I saw it once in a sycamore
at a fishing spot near the lagoon,
one of the tree's three trunks combusting

from within—flames inexplicably
licking out into the otherwise
cool and moisture-laden autumn air.

Perhaps a cigarette or careless
spark set it ablaze, though the pulsing
seemed to swell from its core. An inner

rot may have ripened it for burning.
They say fire in the wood's a fiction,
but I know what I saw. Like some scars,

I cherished that burn. I did not try
to put it out but kept circling back—
months, years—to investigate the char.

Copyright © 2012 Terry Blackhawk All rights reserved
from The Light Between
Wayne State University Press
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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