®

Today's poem is by Scott Bailey

Fire

Before the grass comes back green, I burn it.
It seems the whole world's on fire as weeds
and lilacs fill the air, fall in a distant yard or field
with no root or slight seed—
they move as the cremated, no fear of the wind—
burned just the right way, the grass
returns like the blunted tail
of a lizard, like the curl of the tongue.
The garden's better too, the corn's yellow finally makes good,
so pure, no weevils crowd its teeth, and watermelons,
when thumped, echo the Holy Ghost, a sweet knocking.
This time, the fire gets out, blackens the siding of our house.
I hose what we can, but fire's a be-headed chicken,
not knowing where to go, just going.



Copyright © 2003 Scott Bailey All rights reserved
from The Southeast Review
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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