Under protest I undertake the task
unspecified except by labored feeling.
What now must I regret?
I purged once already, only to wince
as you grew back. Turns out
we're inevitable, liable at any moment
to catch small fire and do what all flames do,
but for a hundred days, in a drought year
so long it's lost its number.
My resinous blaze, my ruined everything,
I await like always the yellow appearance
of the next contorted seedling pine.