Elegy for Bill

First light of dawn

.                            hill sides ablaze

his farm hands move to the rhythm of           sun and moon

pictures of oilspillwildlifeincompetence

.                          superseded by the next new tragedy

by lamplight and coffee cup

.               checks written,             bills sealed

.                                                smell of newly-mown hay

stories like this                          told in fragments

.             our minds

.      too full of longing               to understand–

mail in hand,                         his body

170 houses burned        books to be thrown

.                  into a blaze of hate

.           thrown 150 feet               bills scatter

his milk-boy hands

.           so fast             no one saw    it     coming

.                                            broken

.         no skid marks                          by the mailbox

.                  no one to extinguish

the embers       no retardant strong enough–

don’t all these losses layer

upon                 our               hearts,      the           weight

of     knowing holds    bodies       immobile,



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