I was hiking half a world from home
when I saw a smoke tree on the trail ahead
smolder into a lather of light, plush
as powder in the heat-choked air—
and clustered along spinules, thin
as capillaries, a tiny arson flared,
then rose into a stratosphere
where the ash of all I was and had
was rushing toward some distant ground
I’d planted once with such as this
in memory of someone dead, and from
that half a world away, a cloud returned
faltering with rain: I was no longer sad.
Copyright © BOA Editions, Ltd 2006
Used with the permission of The Permissions Company, Inc.
on behalf of BOA Editions LTD.