Hazard

Down to the rotting
forest floor, little shocks
of sun, panty-pink,

slip below crowns
of simple-leaved trees.
Green ousts peach,

claiming branches. Layers
of duff drift beneath trees’
heart-murmur utterance,

under the dieback,
witches’ broom, sad trinity
of cloud, tree, cloud.

A filth fly passes through
the low charnel house
of decomposing brushwood.

It’s a fuel bed, ready
for wind, hazard, erasure,
and the true red of flames.

Barbara Daniels’ book Rose Fever was published by WordTech Press and her chapbooks Black Sails, Quinn & Marie, and Moon Kitchen by Casa de Cinco Hermanas Press. Her poetry has appeared in Prairie Schooner, Mid-American Review, and many other journals. She received three Individual Artist Fellowships from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts.