Story Circle

By David Bankson


Tell of darkness in a coal miner’s heart,

balsam fir sapling surrounded by ancestors,


all the hearts of man expelling words

of warning. Say the house’s roof


is a den of illicit activity. Invoke

empty stone wells & death masks,


cracked teeth, a sunset stained with wine.

As another night ruptures in the throat,


scream the primal truth–though stories

are honey, let us grasp the barbed wire tonight.