IF YOU want fire tonight, you’ll chop some wood
This afternoon before the early dark.
Northeast in the far orchard there’s a good
Stand of old trees with scaly tinder-bark.
Dead limbs, green lichened, ready for the fire,
Grown up with poison oak, though — mind your hands.
Look for bright berries, vines as tough as wire,
And when you see it, leave it where it stands.
What kind? Why, apple trees, past bearing now.
Lord knows how old they are. Sometimes in spring
A few white blossoms creep along the bough.
None last year though. The only blessed thing
That orchard’s good for is to burn at night.
So get along now. Hurry while there’s light.