In the forest stand ponderosa
consumed by fire.
In a grove of healthy ponderosa
I once saw one
hollowed out by fire.
The darkest part of the trunk,
black as a kettle,
was the base.
Perhaps grass caught fire first
and lit a carpet of glowing needles.
Flames swallowed the trunk.
Flames hollowed a tunnel
through the trunk:
Concave black walls,
now silent testament.
As the flames moved up,
heat reached the branches.
Branches curled up in the heat.
The outermost fringes of branches
still curl against the charred trunk.

Ponderosa’s hollow bore:
Flute played by flame.

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