John Morrison

Our Plan for the Leaves
by John Morrison

Is to burn them all
and all at once in a mountain heap
the night before the rains roll-in
and rot their crisp color to slop.

A conflagration, yes, worthy
of the end. Birch, sweetgum, willow,
the flouncy scraps of fall,
oak, elm, ginkgo.
One big fire.
Huge. In fact, bon.
I’ll recruit my fireman uncles,
Hector and Jess,
back from the dead and glad
to be the chiefs

who hand out the same sturdy toy firehats
they gave us as kids.
We’ll run around
whooping in the savage light
of the bonfire as they
stand back and cross their arms
and see we keep the high sparks
from catching aflame
the flickering nuggets of ice
we call the stars.


Published in Cider Press Review, Volume 15, Issue 4.

John MorrisonJohn Morrison’s book, Heaven of the Moment, won the 2006 Rhea & Seymour Gorsline Poetry Competition and was a finalist for the 2008 Oregon Book Award in poetry. He teaches poetry as an associate fellow at the Attic Institute in Portland, Oregon.

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