Prairie Burning by Rachael Allen

There is a man
who circles the perimeter
with a baby in his arms
unmoving.
Locusts burn
with the silhouettes
of saints at dusk.
Saints are in the cloud.
We are in a dry storm.
The man extends his circles
pulling the baby through
the cactus scrub.
Look at his melting trainers
in the heat,
they aren’t what he asked for.
There are black leather skids
on the dry stone wall.
People in black cloaks run
out of the corner of your eye.
A pig turns on a spit.
The prairie is a terrarium for the blaze
but the edge is dry of fire.
It is the height of one season,
bushes burn.
A burnt five-year-old
without eyelids
turns quick cartwheels
through the heat wave
under the big pale sky,
black and blue.

From: https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poetrymagazine/poems/detail/58779

Date: 2016

By: Rachael Allen (1989- )

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