Burned House
Beth Roberts
The bad neighbors in the insulation-colored house who shot
the sky, drank brunch and burned whatever was at hand
have burned the hand that held them.

Dog sniffs new snow at the perimeter while I
admire the debris under the moon. Under the weather
the structure looks askant, less blatantly black & blue

at night. Off the porch, a chair holds ash that held
the arsonist with a new vision of home.
I put my nose to the house for the view:

on the coldest day in eighty years, a slim shoot appeared
in a dull light. Disenchanted with all his bright ideas,
he got the family out. Details condensed to a blue tip

on a minute finger, enlightened.
Then it was only a matter of time and matter.
Domestic fire licked everything shaped.

I lay the varied planes of my face against the wood
to feel it still. A faint smell, as in singed paper, as in
far controlled burns at the end of the day.