by Annie Dillard
from Tickets for a Prayer Wheel, 1974
They came to the forest and made a clearing,
blasted the stumps, split the wood,
and built the woodshed.
to build the house, they bought a roller,
white paint, some asphalt,
and made a tennis court in the clearing.
They forgot the fence. They played tennis
that summer till all the balls were lost
in the forest;
and when the woodshed
caught fire, it was almost as pretty
as the blaze the sparkler factory made
when it burned outside of Wheeling, West Virginia.