Poetry by Birch Dwyer
Earlier, the fire was bigger.
Standing out in the field at night you could see it
like a sun rising from the center of the forest, its light
illuminating the undersides of the trees.
But now, standing in that same field
all you see is a dark forest on a clouded night
and the eerie texture of trees.
You wonder if there is any fire left
to warm a cold night.
As you head towards the woods
and push through its outer layer,
you find a woman there, a part of you,
knelt down in the clearing.
She is bent over blowing embers,
her breath fanning fishtails of orange
and scarlet, purple green.
Her fire is close to the ground;
she leans in to warm her face
and the bones of her hands.
She is listening to wind talking to tree.
She is listening to earth thanking sky
and sky thanking earth, her calves kissing
the forest floor as a log collapses
and breaks open to reveal
embers and ash, trickles of fire.
Birch Dwyer is a writer and workshop facilitator living in Portland, Oregon. She currently leads Poetic Medicine circles through Portland Women Writers and for Transition Projects. Her writing has been published in Clackamas Literary Review and Windfall. Birch makes her home with her husband and son and two dogs, one who likes to be rolled in a blanket like a burrito and the other who lies on the couch fully exposed, like an open-faced sandwich.