Four Way Books

Six Small Fires
by Paul Jenkins

ISBN: 1-884800-33-5
paper, 64 pages, $14.95





They hurry through the forest suitcases in hand
Bulging suitcases and young children
Followed a half mile behind by brooms
Industrial-strength brooms or whatever you imagine
Gaining at the rate of two broom handles per song
Like a word-problem in math through oak then hemlock
The border I'm guessing thirty miles to go

You can tell by their hat brims they don't believe it's brooms
The singing I invented because someone has to
You can tell by the light it's getting late
Tree trunks gone creamy on the left side only
And by the dusk rising upward from their shoes
In the distance six small fires
Winking on a hillside a ragged clearing in the woods

It's like the presentation-dream every analyst loves
So the talking-cure has a crux to aim at
Doctor I can't clear the picture from my brain
Except it's not dreaming I swear it's from life
Snapped in Grodno Forest dated 1940
All except the singing and six small fires
I set just now as rescue or lure