Search this website

Bonfire RSS


23 April, 2019: Bonfire



by Diane Vogel Ferri
I see them together:
the connective tissues, the shared blood,
a counterpoint in firelight—and
something primal and holy in me turns.
Orange-yellow waves move over their glossy faces
and rotate like pinwheels in their eyes.
Her perfect tight-teeth smile and luminous hair.
His shoulders wide and strong, his great-grandfather’s silhouette.
White sparks sprinkle upward between us.
My diaphragm expands and my ribs crack in this invisible triangle.
I am stretched like early-morning yoga,
depth perception altered in this stasis.
Leaves flutter in the heat, tree frogs sing, dogs chase
each other in and out of deep shadows. His voice,
her laughter brings stillness to my maternal island
and resurrection to what time cannot take from my soul.
“Bonfire” by Diane Vogel Ferri, from The Volume of Our Incongruity. Finishing Line Press, 2018. Used by permission of the author.
Diane Vogel Ferri is a teacher, poet and writer living in Solon. Her essays have been published in Scene Magazine, Cleveland Christmas Memories and Raven’s Perch and by Cleveland State University, among others. Her poems can be found in numerous journals. Her chapbook, Liquid Rubies, was published by Pudding House. The Volume of Our Incongruity was published by Finishing Line Press. Vogel Ferri’s essay, “I Will Sing for You,” was featured at the Cleveland Humanities Fest in 2018. A graduate of Mayfield High School and Kent State University, she holds an MEd from Cleveland State University.


Write a poem on a characteristic of a family member that is difficult to explain – your father’s laugh, your grandmother’s missing finger, your aunt’s drinking … .

Tell me mom
Who are they?
You know, they
They are the people you always cite as experts

For 76 years, they have controlled your every thought
Managed your every move
Confirmed your bias with or without foundation
So who are they?

Who are they?
What makes they better than them? Or us?
Were they the people you always wanted to be?

Who are they?
Did they get better grades in school?
Or, have sex at younger ages?
Did they intimidate?
What makes they special?

Who are they?
Do they know who they are?
Are they comfortable with your unending adulation?
Who are they?

Who are they?
Are they the illuminati or some underground group?
Are they terrorists?
Who are they?

Before the end of your life
Please answer
Who are they?
4/23/2019 9:33:24 PM

READ + WRITE: 30 Days of Poetry is a collaboration between Cuyahoga County Public Library and poet Diane Kendig. Our thanks go to Diane and the poets of Northeast Ohio who allowed us to share their poetry.