A Walking Fire


Come, unbutton here.
—King Lear, III.iv


Now a little fire in a wild field. Winter.

Shall we the fire, now a waltz. Now the piano

on Pillicock hill, and shall we come calling,

calling, Look what we've brought to burn.

Now a little wind in the white snag, fallen.

Shall we the tall grass. Shall we the birds.


Shall we the flight, the fury and the snake

skins, gun shells, owl pellets, bones. The field

mice and insects, the hawthorn, the burr oak,

the worms in wet soil, weeds, bits of skin, fur.

Shall we dance faster. Shall we the high keys.

Now the strings. Tom's a-cold. Shall we endure.


Shall we the lendings, the silk cloth, the king's head,

the coxcomb, the nails black with smoke. Shall we

the sound of our love. And shall we come calling,

though we have nothing, calling. Shall we say,

Look what we have left to burn. Now a little fire

in a wild field, winter. Now this. Shall we the poem.



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