Tomorrow we will find footprints behind the barn leading away.

Tonight, my mother’s call wakes me:
he’s trying
            to get the tractor out
………. before the barn burns down.

When I drive up, orange fog so thick the trees disappear
                        clings deep in my lungs.

The barn is almost ground level,
flames still beating the stars,
            all that hay—3 am—New Year’s—

            my father sits in a chair beside the house,

in the field beside the catfish pond,
the tractor at sudden rest.


Photo by Joni N.