Because they do burn leaves here, the older folks do, and I remember now that I love it and always have. The way fall feels at night because of it, because of the crackling sound and walking around the sidewalks, like when you’re a kid, and kicking those soft piles, and seeing smoke from backyards and Mr. Kilstrap standing over the metal drum with the holes in the top, the sparking embers at his feet.

You can’t, if you can’t feel it, if it never
Rises from the soul, and sways
The heart of every single hearer,
With deepest power, in simple ways.
You’ll sit forever, gluing things together,
Cooking up a stew from other’s scraps,
Blowing on a miserable fire,
Made from your heap of dying ash.
Let apes and children praise your art,
If their admiration’s to your taste,
But you’ll never speak from heart to heart,
Unless it rises up from your heart’s space.

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