Bonfire of Certainties

A bonfire of all certainties
has been built under me,
of timbers, in unseen hands,
crossed over and laid
on a cold heart, that core,
of devout-snapped sticks.

The ninety year old fell
and they discovered
her riddle of cancers.
“She shouldn’t be alive.”
But her bonfire was doused:
“I’m happier,” she sung.
“I have assurances.”

This told to me as I was driven
by the old woman’s nephew,
through Puglia’s stone veins.
I felt my own bonfire
lit, and you, my wife,
have to bear the heat
of this, the cruellest of fires.

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