by Diane Fahey
Recreation Ground, Colchester, November 1987
A month past, the hurricane loosened and broke
roots, pulled countless trees like so many teeth.
Now, bonfires are built and lit — labyrinths
of brambles, chopped limbs, heartwood. Smoke
twists from lava flames, platinum ash beneath.
The workmen pile and rearrange and stoke,
eyes held by the firefly flick of sparks,
and slow heat waves rippling over the heath.
Children, brightly scarved, walk on lichened bark,
command the fallen; thick grass persists in earth
impacted above bare roots. The gale's strength
left these plane trees whole; at dusk
they darken against cloud and mist and smoke —
the sky a white shadow box, this ground a green lake.
Last updated January 14, 2019