POEM XXI: “CLIMBING THE WOODPILE”

You never know what you’ll encounter up there.

Sometimes a wasps’ nest,
sometimes a spider’s,
sometimes a cluster of ladybugs,
huddled like a rash inside the elbow of winter.
As you near the tin roof,
the woodshed gets warmer,
and you remember that rot
is the slow form of fire.

This pile is burning,
and you, like a witch,
are scaling its bones
with some of your own
to heap up in honor of winter.

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