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Peach Fires

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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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Peach Fires

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