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White Ash Goes Up at a Touch

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while the black oak

takes coaxing.
That popping and

whistling? Yellow
birch and red pine.

Difference
might for now define,

but soon the whole
church is chanting

at the same time,
flame splashing

bright from the dirty
bucket of the earthly,

roaring likeness
and only likeness

into the bottomless
cool of the night . . .

Source: Poetry (December 2007)
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White Ash Goes Up at a Touch

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