Smoke Tree

by Richard Foerster
Foerster. The Burning of Troy. Smoke Tree
Cotinus coggygria I was hiking half a world from home when I saw a smoke tree on the trail ahead smolder into a lather of light, plush as powder in the heat-choked air— and clustered along spinules, thin as capillaries, a tiny arson flared, then rose into a stratosphere where the ash of all I was and had was rushing toward some distant ground I'd planted once with such as this in memory of someone dead, and from that half a world away, a cloud returned faltering with rain: I was no longer sad.