Guest Blog Julie Peterson: the secret fire


sometimes, in that moment

when night and day balance gently on the edge of a bowl

that is an upturned eye

hope rises inside, at first a whisper

then builds like a fire that finds purchase in the driest needles

rushes with great fervor

toward the next hungry bite.

my fear of death is not so much of dying

as leaving this home

the beams and bones crumble and shift with each hard frost

until a good jacking up

levels one’s perspective

and makes right the structure.

why not pack up all the old chipped dishes,

sort through phone bills, love letters,

detrus that reminds us that one time

we loved something

other than coffee and toast

and working furnaces.

in the driest summer

a whisper of moisture pushs

up and out from the hot earth

gathers, builds, streams down the hillside

toward the gristmill and those granite wheels

that wait to spin and churn the fat heads of grain

almost to dust.

a rising loaf of bread soothes me like

my grandmother’s strong hands

whose Irish roots lay

tangled with potatoes and grasses and thatch.

druid magicians, their secrets nearly lost

except for the magic that is baked into my bones.

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