Fires, always fires after midnight,
the sun depending in the purple birches
and gleaming like a copper kettle.
By the solstice they’d burned everything,
the bad-luck sleigh, a twisted rocker,
things “possessed” and not-quite-right.
The bonfire coils and lurches,
big as a house, and then it settles.
The dancers come, dressed like rainbows
(if rainbows could be spun),
and linking hands they turn
to the melancholy fiddles.
A red bird spreads its wings now
and in the darker days to come.
Stephen Kuusisto, “Summer at North Farm” from Only Bread Only Light. Copyright © 2000 by Stephen Kuusisto. Used with the permission of Copper Canyon Press, http://bit.ly/2iMe3eQ.

Source: Poetry August 1989

Stephen Kuusisto

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