First Burn

First Burn

Jeff Burt

How good to burn the mounds of maple leaves
and twigs, to bend the sky with smoke,

to spin an earthly contrail that neighbors
and dogs can trace to the rake’s teeth,

to enjoy the leafy filters that strained the light
to make oxygen and sugar, balance my needs with theirs,

warm the front of my jeans and leave the backside cool
as I stand face into the billowing smoke

thanking the maples for my breath, my warmth,
the little hard candy shifted by my tongue.

Jeff Burt

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