Fire Consumes Wood

His eyes caught the line,

“Fire consumes wood…

as time consumes us,” and

he lingered awhile.  He set

the novel aside, glanced at the

candles burning in the fireplace

and looked at his legs crossed

on the ottoman like two dogs

from the same litter resting

heads crossed at the

crook of their necks.  The

dogs lifted their heads and

rubbed each other’s noses

and then lay still.  He saw the

spider veins crawling around

the sides of his ankles, the

scar on the shin from when

a board dropped and cleanly

sliced the skin to the bone

forty some years ago as he

helped clean up a house after

a tornado ripped through his

Old Kentucky Hometown.  He

rubbed the faint scar on his knee

which once was a gaping wound

and recalled the fall from the

tree in his eighth grade girl

friend’s backyard as he was

trying to show off and how

the bark just like number

ten sandpaper instantaneously

left the sheath over the knee cap

exposed for all the world, not

to mention his then former

girlfriend, to see. He winced

recalling the alcohol being

poured copiously into the wound

by his mother and how she furiously

scrubbed out the dirt and

meticulously tweezed the slivers

from the flesh as if she were

plucking her eyebrows on a

Sunday morning before church.

He picked gently at a scab on his

other knee from a scrape on the

rough wall of the pool just days

before. He tightened his thigh

muscles and recalled significant

definition from years of cycling

and jogging where now wrinkles

looked up and smiled deviously.

He rubbed his legs, slapped his

thighs and said, “Time to get up,

boys. I need another cup of coffee.”

 

1 thought on “Fire Consumes Wood

  1. May have read this before, but I read it, again, tonight, in the hardbound book of poems you sent my way … and I shared with others. This is just a beautiful piece of poetry … so true, so true … my thanks.

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