Smoke thickens-
the matter of lives, burnt.
Sky can’t prepare for the soot
of curtain, letter, painting, bed pillow, tea pot, photograph,
weighting its blue.
Telling a friend his home is gone, eaten
by flames,
another unexpected duty.
Yet, mercifully, living words can be delivered
instead of the shock
of a middle of the night escape.
Drought.
Tinder.
Negligence.
Nature’s force, fueled.
Green becomes black.
The redefinition of essential.
Memory reduces
to what a mind can retain.
Celebrating moments,
understanding the past transforms,
in time,
like wood and metal consumed
by extreme and uninvited heat.
Humans skirt the fire,
narrowly, and
for this,
surging gratitude.
From the ashes,
magnificence does find grit.

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