[Signal] Fire

[I am] one of the burning hillside trees.
[Fire] jumps from leaves to bark.
My arm and torso break. I am [fractured]
and still, I love the [Earth] I am from.

[Cosmic] night shape-shifts me
into a hot crunch of [embers].
When fire is gone, coals still [burn]
through to [the core] of the Earth I am from.

Come morning, I sing the [sad]dest notes
from what [remains] of this Earth I am from.
My trunk no longer [stretch]es to sky.
Its blackened stalk [tremble]s even in still air.

My voice calls the breeze to [reach] me,
though that same [air] pushed me to my knees
before it brought my death. I beg [for] it
to give [me] wholly to the burnt Earth I am from.

[Charred] trunk, ashen limbs, burnt hollows
my singed [tongue] creaks, new flowers grow
at my edges. This is the time for [a rebirth]
[for the Earth] I am from.

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About the Author

Liza Wolff-Francis is a poet and writer with an MFA in Creative Writing from Goddard College who served two terms as a member of the Albuquerque Poet Laureate Program's Selection Committee and continues on the organizing committee. Her writing has most recently appeared in the magazine El Palacio: Art, History, and Culture of the Southwest, Steam Ticket, We’Moon, among others. She has a chapbook out called Language of Crossing.

Liza Wolff-Francis
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