I drove through a wildfire once.
Wrong place, wrong time, wrong wind.
Got caught between the path of twin smoke spirals,
A small town in the middle of nowhere,
Long since evacuated.
The firemen escorted us through,
Not sure how we landed in the middle of an inferno,
The truth being that there aren’t enough people
To warn all the travelers,
Mark all the roads,
In those northern places.
It was like a moonscape,
Once we cleared the smoke.
Trees, land, sky,
Distilled down to whitened ash,
Nothing left to rise again.
Later, later, later
The moonscape remained
But at the edge
The fireweed rose up
And a warning.
So much of the North rises and lives on tales of tragedy and destruction.