After the Fire
Virginia Boudreau

After the Fire

Charred beams, cracked and black, lie
haphazard in a shallow pit of umber soot; white

mallow, generations old, peers over the lip,
flickers soft and clean along the foundation.

Three concrete steps stand steadfast. There is nothing
quite like the sadness of relinquishing purpose.

Slender trunk of the weeping laburnum tree, burnt smooth
and polished to a gentle sheen, stands at the edge of the walk.

It could be a leaning bronze statue in the Louvre. Or
a revered monument in a shaded town square, somewhere.

Van Fleet roses, their arbour gone, escape the whispering
ashes, scramble over un-mown grass toward the dug well.

Beyond, sea lavender froths the salt marsh to spindled line:
ragged spruce on the brink of blown dune. This is where

piping plover nest, anchored in granite. Where crown vetch
unravels skeins of waxen purple bloom to weave silvered stones.

In the distance conifer points, birch crowns, a steeple
meld larkspur sky and muscari sea. Second storey

windows once reflected these vistas in wavy glass, now surrendered.
The unpicked shards glint sharp in the sun. A mourning dove swoops low

over clouds of Queen Anne’s Lace. She lights upon the bleached wood
feeder swinging empty in the wind and waits for her mate. Calling, calling.

Virginia Boudreau

lives in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, where she works as a learning disabilities specialist. Her poems and prose have appeared in a number of Canadian literary magazines.