Two poems by KG Newman

The Smell of Campfire

I take my receipts of scar tissue
and trudge through the snow
for more little sticks, disfigured
branches, sprigs of
dry dead pine needles.

This is the fragile conviviality
I envision, my grown son and I
roasting mallows in the dark,
recuperating faith with fistfuls
of untreated lumber.

To our yellow-orange faces I say
to sacrifice me to the weather
if it comes to that. Hopefully
it won’t but we both know
how disproportions creep in

and the campfire requires
a pale-knuckle grip on its memory,
as if the sparks can bark out
colors of coming sunrises or
our uncertainties in disguise.



The Properties of Wax

The hangman hands me a crayon
and gives me five minutes to scribble
the best advice I can remember
for my son. I leave out the rules
about buying a gremlin
and don’t mention the benefits
of library cards in multiple counties
but I do include the news
of what I felt when I finally
found the courage
to stand on the dock
where I first kissed his mom
to watch ships dip over the horizon,
particles disappearing
into the same unforgiving sun
I’m about to stare into,
beyond the promise
of contrails and this crayon
which I crush into my palm
after signing love Dad,
undecided on whether
the next me
would make what’s left
into a vigil candle or, alternatively,
a stick of red lip gloss.



KG Newman is a sportswriter who covers the Broncos and Rockies for The Denver Post. His first three collections of poems are available on Amazon and the Arizona State University alum is on Twitter @KyleNewmanDP. More info and writing can be found at He lives in Hidden Village, Colorado, with his wife and two kids.

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