Long before craftsmen
sought walnut, cherry and oak
for cribbage boards and magazine racks

Daddy set a match to the unusable cuts
from logs he sawed into planks
and two by fours.

Massive configurations
of bark and knotted scraps
lined the ditch bank.

Massive conflagrations,
my father’s inferno,
burned well into the night.

For years, I avowed the actions
of a six-year-old daughter
who feared the flames

would devour and destroy him.
I tossed the contents
of that little red can onto the pyre,

holding firm in my belief
it held only water
At sixty-one,

is it safe now to confess
I only wanted to see
the fire dance?

Words hurled
onto pages of pristine white,
not unlike chunks
foisted upon a receptacle of
cold gleaming porcelain
late at night,
sick with fever
and nauseous purgings
of what preys upon my brain.

A vomiting of ideas,
stream-spewed consciousness
raw and unfiltered…

Oh, wretch that I am!
How to heave a tidy
sanitized version
from the dregs of my mind
simply because
you say that I must?