On the Occasion of Mike's 40th Birthday (or "Gather You Fires")

There are band of good people that I know, and Mike Rusch is the chief among them. I've penned this for him, and them, on the occasion of his 40th birthday.I promised poetry this year. Here's one of the first installments.

*****

There are kin-lights recognizable in the best brothers-- the spark of saints' names spoken, wive's held like own Aphrodites, Somali-starred stories, the memory of the frailest soul lost, the mention of village where daughters, nieces, neighbors, sisters were born into an acquired taste for air, for our wounded lungs, for the notion of forgotten, remembered.

Gather you fires-- awake in the collective-- rare though it gathers, short though it's lived, small though it seems; We are.

Lights are again and again, like the ashes of last year's Lent, and next year's, the dogged birthmarking of our natures, best and worst, together.

Gather you fires best-- awake in the collective-- in the feasting, in communion wine, and there find that we together are more than ashes. We are, a briliant, unforgettable constellation.

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