Submitted Date 02/29/2020

You can always hear it coming before it arrives,

and you hope for a train, but the horn never comes.

After that, all I saw was fire.
In the sky, in that blur

you catch in the corner of your eye. Fire
bounded over Nch'i-Wana,
evaded the watery mirror, and
looked down at the Bridge of the Gods as it
caught a ride on that wild northbound wind.

Years later, I find myself fearing change--
a human flaw--
and I trace the scars the fire left on the mountains.
I imagine that with light enough fingers, in my mind's eye,
I can find beauty again.

Or remember green over every mountain the fire touched.

An underdeveloped human caused this damage.
The forest will never look the same again in my lifetime.

I rest my head on an ancient cedar and ask

is it my place to forgive?

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