Poetry by Robert DeMott: “The Fires Last Summer”

Robert DeMott is kind enough to let us share his most recent poem, which arrived in the form of a Christmas card yesterday.  It draws from the imagery of the western U.S. tinderbox of this last summer and helps bring another year to a close with notes on the pleasures of family.

The Fires Last Summer

Our sojourn ending, as we knew it must,

car packed for its long haul home,

Kate and I sat together to watch the Madison

catch whatever glimmer was left of failing day

while we waited for summer’s last new moon

to rise over darkened ridge tops.  Meadow,

our old dog, having run far in tindery fields

after robins, sparrows, and such, returned

loose limbed, smelling of sage and ash,

and lay panting on the deck by our feet.

We shared a bottle of  wine, a gift from

Bob and Mary, well-met, weeks earlier,

and we spoke of our children and families

and how good it would be to see them again

come Christmas, when all frailty and pain

might be eased, even for a moment,

perhaps a moment as casual as this one,

when we would tell our stories of evening,

of friends, new and old, visiting us on Sturdy Lane,

of  the red fox lingering at dusk by the fence,

and of those countless mayfly spinners–

epeorus, Pink Alberts, Yellow Quills–

call them what you will, light as dust,

wings sheer and thin as cellophane,

adrift on the great river beyond our door

for all we knew, like smoke upon the water.


Bob DeMott, Christmas, 2012

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