Incantation Against Blazing ~ Beverly Burch

Three a.m. bolt of panic hits, thoughts of disasters
to come. Spring out of bed, blazed by adrenaline.
Transfixed by the body’s power to destroy.

Everything that matters in that moment lies
in the word relief. Then it passes. O remember,
driving down I-5 from Oregon, steep
through the Shasta Cascade, you saw a Winnebago
sprouting flames from its rear brakes.

You leaned on the horn. Everyone leaned
on their horns. The heavy wheels flew downhill,
family inside. On a long curve you heard the explosion,
saw the thing flattened, black as a charred cake.

Of course you remember. The flaming load
of the past careens on, disguised as the future
at three a.m. Back to bed. You’ve seen things that
branded you, more than just that,
but for all you know they released someone.