Rite of Fire

by Carolin Messier


In a plane of easy pasture the Sun sets
fire to the last remaining elm before
descending behind a range
of Bens and Glens
leaving no pleasant shade for lovers
only a charred trunk
one more pole
rooted to the beyond
who lends its crippled limbs to carry the wind
strung out on wires
hot with potential
they, a danger to its former leaves
ever a reminder of its own descent
now, electrifying life—
new meaning
for its transformed self.

Photo by Jamie Burgoyne, used by permission.