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Burning the Past


We lit a bonfire of our past today,

An artefact of dried autumnal leaves,

Close woven in with beetled wood and hay.


From dark and attic store, we drew the sheaves

Of crumpled dreams, the relics, mould and rust

Of indiscretion’s power that still deceives.


With fingers cold and stiff, we touched the trust

Of letters written long ago with pledge

Of lust, now faded, damp and webbed with dust.


With cautious eyes, we cut the ties, the wedge

Of hard investment lies, that cast adrift

Our lives and drive and pushed us to the edge.


Then kindly notes we found that healed our rift,

Our son’s first sketch of huge and rounded head,

The poems that you wrote and gave as gift,


A photo of my father when he wed.

But all must go; we cannot hoard, turn back,

No space where we are going now, you said.


And so we struck the match that would attack

And straight a flame of Troy blazed out anew,

Fast drawing wood and leaves into its track.


As beams collapsed, upon the glow we threw

Our papered past, unseen, and watched it flare

Defiant in its red against the blue.


Then suddenly, uplifting our despair,

Your scorched and blackened poems broke the shield

Of fire and drifted up like seeds through air.


Away they flew and free across the field,

A future in a past that will not yield.


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