Exposed beyond the roadside, charred remains
peer through gray-green tallgrass, driftless.
No animal in sight. Smell of smolder still faint,
adrift in wind creeping up knolls of coneflowers.
How’d this happen? I want to ask the ground,
a wood plank grave splayed like shattered femurs.
Abandoned farmland under acres of cloud,
bounded by barbed wire rusted under evening skies.
I want to breathe in each echo of quiet,
midsummer air sultry in my lungs.
Leaf mold crinkling underfoot. Out of ruins,
ground erupts in sun, sublime, heatwaves
like translucent flames ascending. Out of ruins,
a newborn badger noses into view, unassuming.
I smile to myself, the mystery of the barn far
from my mind as evening swoops headlong
into dusk—arches of sun in mist, these old
cinders, like obsidians, suddenly glimmering.
Jacob Butlett is a gay poet with a B.A. in Creative Writing. His work has been published in The MacGuffin, Rabid Oak, Ghost City Review, Lunch Ticket, Into the Void, plain china, and elsewhere.