The river turns; the wood piles up,
a bonfire waiting to start.
So many trunks and twigs and branches,
and not a single match.
The water will not carry them
to any mountaintop.
They will not be a burning signal
on an August night.
Andrew Shields lives in Basel, Switzerland. His book Thomas Hardy Listens to Louis Armstrong was published by Eyewear in 2015. His band Human Shields also released an album in 2015, Somebody’s Hometown, and an EP in 2016, Défense de jouer.