Royal Terrace: Camphor Berries and Embers

by Tim Gilmore, 7/15/2012

She fell asleep with the fire dying. She was lying on pillows on the floor. Through the chimney she heard sounds magnified. Through the chimney she heard the

barred owls up in the oaks: “Who cooks for you, who cooks for all.” Through the chimney she heard the magnification of cars and their thumping hip hop on Avenue B. When she was falling asleep to random embers popping on the grate, she was thinking it was nice to hear the sky reverberate through the chimney. Since the flue was still open in the morning, when the birds flocked to the camphor tree over the brick house and dropped camphor berries all over the roof and the yard, they also dropped camphor berries down into the site of last night’s fire. When the girl was not quite awake yet, she was thinking the berries were the embers.