Days of Ashes

Watching the dragon of fire

devour the mountains,

my hair begins to gray

with the ashes of someone else’s life.

Day after day

I wake afraid—

drawn to the street

with the other strangers

of my neighborhood.

The community of fear

takes the place of unknown names

and greetings never uttered.

We all look for a sign

that the beast is turning away;

wondering if it will feed enough

on the hillside homes between us

to be satiated and sleep.

If we feel shame at these thoughts

we do not share it.

The ashes which cover us

as we keep our vigil

smell of cedar and pine,

and I can’t help thinking about

childhood campfires

and the burned sugar taste

of blackened marshmallows.

Someone wonders aloud

if the animals feel much pain

when they burn to death like that,

and I retreat to the house,

where I turn off the news,

pack my memories and cry.

Days of Ashes

hoboannie

Mentone, United States

  • Artist
    Notes
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Artist's Description

Living in Southern California can be terrifying at times…
especially when your home is surrounded by wildfires.

Artwork Comments

  • Miri
  • hoboannie
,
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