Whenever the fire pit cools,
he walks back to the burn pile.
hunting for the right limb, the one
wedged like a memory from the past.
He searches by touch, passing
through the kindling, the cane and vine,
the dank snarl of tree fall.
He burrows through leaf and limb,
layers of history, old storms
tossed into forgiving decay. Each
branch combusts unlike another;
the flames smolder; the smoke follows
when he moves his chair.
Photo by Patrick Machado
© 2012 Al Ortolani. All rights reserved.