Those Phoenixes

have grown from seed that scattered on the day
they dragged the tamarisk hedge and shade away.
Three decades lay
pyred quietly beside these lignums. Limbs
and whistling died. And then the fires. The light
and silence stayed and heat beat in on bright,
unhindered wind.

Now rasping branches spread thin shadows round
those ash-hatched salamanders and restrain
the wind and this November morning sounds
like shade again.

And when I wonder why these trees appear
to stand aside in time and squeeze the years
like concertinas here
the limbs and wind remind me that I know
the place they came from and in days before
the ashes and the scattering I saw
their forebears grow.


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