Cane Fires

Jane Frank

Childhood was burnt winter air,
smoke-hazed sunsets,
the rush to remove clothes from lines
as soot rained like black snow.
An angry front raged across the river,
devouring fields, tinder-dry,
bandicoots and snakes fleeing
only to be scooped up by birds.
We danced with charcoal feet
under cold skies, ash still falling.
Later with skin scrubbed pink
I’d watch embers through glass,
last orange specks
against a scorched silhouette,
forever a slave to sweetness.

Jane Frank now lives and writes in Brisbane, Australia but lived in Scotland for a number of years in the 1990s. It is her second home! Her poems have appeared in Australian Poetry Journal, Westerly, Writ, Snorkel, Antiphon, Northwords Now, Poets Republic, London Grip and elsewhere. She teaches in Humanities at Griffith University in south east Queensland.

Photo credit: Angie Spoto

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