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“To say it is mindless is missing the point”

We head down to the chapel pond
where cinnamon ferns arc their fronds over water.

The landfill fire still burns five months on
but the fire is in the city, two hours south,

and the long rows of houses with soot-stained windows
are not particular to us: the apples and oats and particulate dust

of Fulton County are not the pond, not the fronds
brushing ankles, not the minerals or bust of rock we trust

to hold us in place. What does the water say about ash
on a southern gust? I find an ethics on the bluff:

the contours of what leans against. The touch that bares tension,
water on leaf, smoke snug in the crease of asthmatic lungs,

in the divots of a songbird nest. Whose justice is this?
By the pond I cross-stitch a green thread into white backdrop.

Jacob Griffin Hall was raised outside of Atlanta, Georgia and currently lives in Columbia, Missouri where he works as poetry editor for The Missouri Review. His poems have appeared in DIAGRAM, New South, New Ohio Review Online, The Carolina Quarterly, and other journals.