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Grey Sparrow Journal

Issue 30, July 31, 2017
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THE NIGHT BEFORE I SOLD THE LAND

I BURNED 30 YEARS OF JOURNALS

 

Backpacking uphill through dark tatter of cedar,

my gait as awkward as an astronaut

while boughs luffed, light as smoke through hair,

 

I lowered my pack with its load of paper

and, leaning over rocks that lined the pit,

fed a fire that smoked through dark tatter of cedar.

 

A stray flame broke loose, its tongue a prayer

in the grass I stamped back with a bucket

while boughs luffed close as smoke through hair.

 

A lifetime of words of wounds and wonder,

ripped one from the other and set afloat,

raveled like a banner through dark tatter of cedar.

 

I took some time to say goodbye to the cedar,

thank it for attendance on this starless night

and its wisdom as wordless as smoke through hair.

 

Tacking downhill through black and silver air,

in a night as fluid as the flur of coyote,

I heeled my way home through dark tatter of cedar.

All I carried with me was the smoke in my hair.

 

                           —Alixa Doom