After fire

After fire,
the crosses, gowns, and graveyards
bones and birch-trees
noses, shackles, ropes
lay ashen
pyre-cold

and we are left as
ash to fertilize the flowerbeds
ash to choke on
ash to spice the stews
ash to paint the clapboard huts
ash to pave the dirt road leading out of town
ash to pray for
ash as hope and penance
ash for breakfast lunch and tea
ash from bodies and from books
ash
we are forever ash.

Farewell by Francisco Goya

Linked to Anmol’s prompt on Black poetry month at dVerse. This is inspired (and short response) to Jamaal May’s long poem, A Brief History of Hostility.

February 12, 2020

10 responses to “After fire

  1. ash for hope and penance – a form of redemption after intentional brutality – humans find a ritual pleasing after living lies

  2. Heartbreaking to think of all the violence left out of our history books but recently coming to light. Not just the acts, but the extent of those acts. Your poem brings both to light.

  3. OH! The sound and feel of “ash” here make me shiver a little. I like how you confront the matter directly and I love how this works so well as a response to Jamaal May’s poem.
    I am reading and rereading this bit: “ash to pray for/ash as hope and penance/ash for breakfast lunch and tea/ash from bodies…”

  4. Awesome expected post you shared here, I will require it many times, and here the outstanding selection of topic also makes me more jolly, please hope more blog post we get from you. Thanks advances!!!

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