Peach Fires

By David St. John b. 1949 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

Poem copyright ©2002 by David St. John, whose most recent book of poetry is The Face: A Novella in Verse, Harper Collins, 2004. Poem reprinted from The Place That Inhabits Us, Sixteen Rivers Press, 2010, by permission of David St. John and the publishers.

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Poet David St. John b. 1949

POET’S REGION U.S., Southwestern

Subjects Nature, Winter

 David  St. John

Biography

David St. John was born in Fresno, California. He received his bachelor’s degree at California State in Fresno and went to the University of Iowa for an M.F.A. His works of poetry include Hush (1976), Terraces of Rain (1991) and The Red Leaves of Night (1999). Most recently he wrote The Face: A Novella in Verse (2004). He has received numerous awards and honors, including the Great Lakes College Association New Writers Award, . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Nature, Winter

POET’S REGION U.S., Southwestern

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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