THE LATE JANE AUSTEN’S NIECE EVENTUALLY DESTROYS THE MANUSCRIPT OF HER OWN NOVEL
The paper cringes in the heat;
The ashes flake off sheet by sheet.
The oldest child in her worn dress
Is watching, thoroughly impressed,
But not at all concerned to know
The source of this unlooked-for show;
She only relishes her mother
Piling one section on another.
Clear and impeccable, the frost falls.
It is the perished, here to claim it all.
Steadfast in helplessness, the buds cling.
They are the future, thief of everything.
And in the center that she once mistook
For somewhere else, a woman burns a
– SARAH RUDEN