He marks the year with stones,
feels the fire in trees rising,
when the sky calls up life.
He inhales beneath the horse chestnut,
stands in his father’s footprints,
eyeing the benign branch caught stars.
His mother leashes his hand,
they ride on wind dogs and go hunting
for the best kindling, where hills
are clouded with sheep.
In autumn, leaves throned gold,
he pockets treasures, and watches
the flames recede in the fall of red and yellow,
dry wood transformed in age.
He mounts an iron horse,
flesh consumed with the spirit of speed,
the season carries his skeleton to cage
a man’s soul, while roots travel
down, sinking with winter’s life,
to condense into vital coal.
Ali Jones is a teacher and mother of three. Her work has appeared in Fire, Poetry Rivals, Strange Poetry, Ink Sweat and Tears, Snakeskin Poetry, Atrium, Mother’s Milk Books, Breastfeeding Matters, Breastfeeding Today and Green Parent magazine. She has also written for The Guardian.