Hickory and Oak

I wake up with dead leaves in my bed
pulling myself out of dreams buried six feet under
the sheets that reek of autumn rain and soil,
and this body’s fading rot.
In the gray light of morning, I am nothing more
than a smoldering ember choking on its own breath,
just trying to stay warm,
but still the window’s waning frost is lost on one so small.
Quick! Come the sun, or cupped hands –
come the flint and knife – sparked back to life
and let spread.
I wake up gathering hickory and oak
in the cold white of my head.


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