Monday, March 5, 2012

spring to winter, winter to spring

Spokane was in the mid-fifties yesterday and sunny. Spring felt so near! I spent a couple hours on the porch replanting succulents and, to be honest, ended up with a bit of a chill. Despite all the hopeful sunshine, fifty-two degrees is not exactly t-shirt weather. Silly me. And today is positively dreary. Wind and gray skies for hours and hours. So, I felt the need for a stark little poem today. Thus, "Peach Fires"...

via Oh. Pioneer!


PEACH FIRES

BY DAVID ST. JOHN
Out in the orchards the dogs stood


Almost frozen in the bleak spring night
& Mister dragged out into the rows
Between his peach trees the old dry limbs


Building at regular intervals careful pyres
While the teeth of the dogs chattered & snapped
& the ice began to hang long as whiskers


From the globes along the branches
& at his signal we set the piles of branches ablaze
Tending each carefully so as not to scorch


The trees as we steadily fed those flames
Just enough to send a rippling glow along
Those acres of orchard where that body—


Sister Winter—had been held so wisely to the fire



from The Place That Inhabits Us, Sixteen Rivers Press, 2010, via the Poetry Foundation

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