in memory of amy clampitt

A single seedling, camp follower
         of arson...

Follower of ashes; follower
of the bleached-out, burned-out
cascade of buildings, lotfuls

of whitened soil speckled with debris
let down by a gutted church
still aspiring to an ether-blue sky

centuries gone; follower
of scripts apotheosized into smoke,
notes lifted into air by flames

that all but threatened the entire lane
with the silence we call a bed
of dirt; follower of the match,

the instigator here and abroad,
the matutinal magnifying glass
focusing light into unwitting

summer grass, into cruciform twigs;
follower of the caveat
ignored because it was too small;

follower of the fourth-oldest dream—
the landscape burning and burning.
“Fireweed” by C. Dale Young from The day underneath the day. © 2001 by C. Dale Young. Published by TriQuarterly/Northwestern University Press. All rights reserved.
Source: The Day Underneath the Day (TriQuarterly Books, 2001)
More Poems by C. Dale Young