Autumn Sky Poetry . . . Number 22 . . .

Arsonist Before the Parole Board

     by Clyde Kessler

This is my uncle's burnt field.

Stumps are smoldering at the edge.

Smoke trickles over the ditches.

I can kick fire across the creek.

Then it will slide off a ridge's pines

careening like wolves toward a child.

Wind will make all into a house

And me the locked up burning fool.

I watch the parole board, one yawn

fits a shadow at the door, I think fire.

The others say no like kindling wood

slatted on a back porch. I still think fire.


Clyde Kessler lives in Radford, Virginia with his wife Kendall and their son Alan. He has had poems published recently in Still the Journal, Shaking Like a Mountain, The Potomac, and Eunoia Review. He is a founding member of the Blue Ridge Discovery Center, an environmental education organization in Virginia and North Carolina.


© 2011 Clyde Kessler