The Corpses of Trees


The Corpses of Trees 

by Michele Habel-Coffey

There is but smoke again. Only the embers of the McDonalds bags and the exoskeleton of a box of wine remain, glowing. The sun sets on another day.

Eveything is soaked. Wet, grey and cold are draped overarchingly, with raised white eyebrows. They watch. They remember.

I need the fire today. The scent of smoke from one of God’s creations burning. I won’t change my shirt before bed. The corpses of trees smell like home.

The smoke belches forth in a pushing plume of white and grey – but cold doesn’t claim the tattered shell of the coalminer’s hand-crafted fire box. His welded workings fence the flames. The smoke gives way and the flames rise, but do not sprawl. The forest smiles. Today I am thankful for the man’s box.

With my winter-white hand I push down on the last of the Christmas tree branches and just after I am safety distant, a fire bursts to life.

Snap. Crackle. Pop.

The Christmas tree is burning. And the fragrant scent of pagans rides the wind.

Deep bow. Day One.

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