The fire kicks embers to dance
in veils of smoke, like oracles.
They remember a ritual, older than bonfire night,
of entrails offered to the gods in flame.
Now the ritual is to check for hedgehogs
before the burning.
The town glows with reflected fire.
Families gather, eat charred sausages
from the barbeque,
sip coffee from plastic cups.
Children write their names in the air
with borrowed light.
The air fills with cordite clouds
that herald rain, which bursts in colours,
whistles and shrieks as it falls.
When chaos fades, families head home
to sleep and dream of night’s chariot,
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Lucy Gabriel is an English poet, with a secret identity as a speculative fiction writer. She lives with her two cats, and a long-suffering husband who doesn’t understand why she can’t stick to one thing at a time.