Danny's Fire

Now whispers the flowertongue,
now hiss the splitwood and spits
the pine, now come the shouts

of men and quicksteps sudden
from the far side of the break.
Now falls the soft rain of light,

now bow the trees blackbrittling
beneath it, now the float of sister's
tablecloth, glow-rimmed and ghost,

wisping across the char. But clearest
of all, most certain of any, father's
shade moving slow above the ash,

real as flicker, light as shadow, see
his bones, how ember white, how sparks
waver stars above his shoulder? O father,

father, do not reach for me so; the weight
of your hand is more than I can bear,
and it burns, and it burns, and it burns.