Kindling

A spring morning much like others,
some daffodils rain-beaten, some
perked. Daphne’s lemony fragrance when
near enough. The outdoor little library
bookcase at the neighbor’s frames the same
mythologies, travel guides, and who-dun-its
that got us through winter’s downpours.

At the abandoned school, morning changes.
A man rakes the baseball diamond, listening
on earphones that make him dance-step.
The yapper dog on my leash flinches
under the shadow of a fleeing crow,
a vulnerability. On the other side
of the playground we sniff a waft
from a fireplace incinerating something
that is not wood. I remember a poet’s carpenter
who shaped a fine-grained walnut casket
to lie in while he was cremated.

Spring hints at what smolders
before it ignites. Spare shadows
and stuttered smoke.
Lilac nipples.
Hosta’s spiny nodes.
Slowed-down winter roses
fling red leaflets sideways.
Nothing crackles now
like summer wildfires
around the corner.

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