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Today's poem is by Bruce Bond

The Chimneys

After the fire the monoliths of brick
it stranded laid bare their long singed throats,
char-scented, headless, blushed in a warm black
rapture of wind and shadows, thick with soot,
each a monument to the lesser fires
we tended, to the winter nights they ate
our words and still moods, those kindling fears
we buried in their jaws. They know the art
of loss is loss, how recovery begins
its blackening work. Who could hate the slip-
knots of smoke and rancor, the sap that spits,
bitter days the only way out was in.

And now to see these homes razed to cinders
as if someone freed the dreaming animal,
let it ravage the speechless body it lulled.
Take the child who watches in cold wonder
the scattering of his father's ashes,
if only one night weeks later to dream
the lightless blaze fathers dream, those flashes
under their blind eyes, grazing the screen
and dying. There are mornings no less strange,
fiery pivots in the world machine:
he might shiver in his blanket, gaze at flames
his mother built, still puzzling out what's in
this thing—if you can call it a thing—
this light that cracks like criminals, like rain.



Copyright © 2002 Bruce Bond All rights reserved
from The Throats of Narcissus
The University of Arkansas Press
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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