Saturday, June 21, 2008


No terrorist, no alien
from deepest space
could do more damage
than fire storming
every edge
of this mountain town.

One quiet morn
it quickly flares in weeds
ten miles away, jumps
over delta-carved canyons
four in a row, just like that,
heads uphill far too fast
for a small town fire crew.

Homes fall in its path
one after another.

On the high side of town,
at the apex of this
confluence of canyons
we flip from news to news.
Maps spread on the table
we follow the path, measure
the shrinking distance
between us and it, finger-trace
the north road, the south road,
balance the cost of leaving
with the risk of staying.

We field emails and phone calls
from family, from friends,
“Are you alright?” they ask
“Is it close?” and we say
“We are fine,” while we know

that we sit at the apex
of this confluence of canyons,
that no road leads to safety,
that we are
at the mercy
of the wind.

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