Burn Pile.

on Saturday I supervised a change of state
—a pile of brush two-years high
had reached a point it couldn’t wait

in our field beside the tracks
where berries would be planted soon
my job’s to make sure nothing
changes state without intention
which might need
a dousing intervention
—with sirens and an all-out
pump-truck monsoon

so I stand with shovel at attention
near a snake of garden hose in grass
and watch for flares of flaming gases
that might leap to nearby desiccated leaves
or other inappropriate locations
having slipped the noose of well-soaked earth
I’d laid in preparation

far-off low pressure voids
not calling desperately
to be satisfied,
the breeze is dangerously slight

under blue where gray clouds collide,
the sun can’t reach with all its might
—still, I wear a straw corona,
brimmed to outwit melanoma

a nearby chipmunk, overseeing
first shoots forward then goes fleeing,
she does this half a dozen times,
like me a vacillating state of being

Jim Culleny

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