Poem: On Fire

Elizabeth Herron

A deer catches fire, no –
the fire catches her
wicks up her body
and she becomes the flame
for an instant her bones white
then black and crumbling
becoming ash then
pure heat –
the exquisite bristling fur
of the cinnamon bear glows
from his rounded back
his paws raised
each claw a candle
the rabbit, bobcat and mouse
their whiskers bright
and fine as the lines of a web
the spiders are just sparks
blown skyward –
no separate existence
one with the God of Fire
a hungry joyful roar
leaping through trees
racing the grasses
utterly free and unforgiving