Reading Jack Gilbert in the Woods
We buy wood to burn
in the wilderness: bringing home the dead.
The fire goes all night
by a stream that refuses to settle its name.
The flames die at last
for all has been fed to it–everything consumed.
We will carry the burnt husks
that remain out in a light rain, under mist.
We leave the ashes we’ve made
in the woods, blackened stones ringing what’s left.