Season of Fire

A Breath of FireOn a stretch of country road
I don’t often drive
I wound past late-summer farmstands
stacks of mums, stacks of chopped wood
horses grazing in the sun, lazily
a blaze just beginning to take over the hillsides

Several drivers passed me
as for once I was not speeding
but rather taking the time
to let the urges to fill the space pass me by
letting everything pass me by

Many years ago, fifteen now,
there was a funeral in early November
At this funeral, we didn’t sit quietly remembering
We danced pounded cried sang and celebrated
to the beating of so many drums

As the colors start their electric descent
into winter
I am always reminded of that day
long after the last leaves had fallen
Something about the beauty and the letting go
how inseparable the two are

And how just this morning
I was telling my daughters about that funeral
describing what is a coffin
what is the earth where bold fabrics decompose
what is the jewelry that clinks and glistens even underground
what is the beating heart
even long after the heart stops speaking

They of course were filled with questions
and little did I know that later
I would be driving through such a countryside
hugging the curves
trying to embrace my own rage

The wood is stacked, the bright mums unafraid of death
and the turning of the season
And I am silent in the face of it
in the face of the mountains, the coffins,
the girls’ wide eyes
the clanking bracelets, the djembes in my chest
the wellspring of tears
the match that could spark a thousand fires
burning down my house
razing the fields
preparing for winter
preparing for the emptiness that is already here,
all ready to receive me
as I rush forward
into the season
of fire

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