NaNo(inPo)WriMo #15 a great blaze of orange and black

15. a great blaze of orange and black

In the years that farmers
cleared their fields with
flames that shot orange
in the night and breathed
black smoke for days

the west wind would come with the frost
and blow their soil away.

The great prairie wind that blew
leaves and snow to the eastern
edge of every yard and field,
that once and only once

yielded magic.

Come, my father said, the wind all last week
has moved the Mississippi flyway
to the east. I’ve only seen this
once before.

The pine tree just out the front
door shimmered with the slow
beat of a million wings, glowing
in the sunrise such brilliant
orange the morning star could
only blush bright pink.


Warming awake, wings spread wide,
each a sacred book of prayers we knew
we once could read, such delight,
such despair, we dare not even breathe

so breathless watched them rise
from that tree, creatures made of air,
so light their launching stirred not
a single needle. Across my small

town each tree where they’d
slept was made holy, holy,
holy ever after, for once
great kings had rested there.


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