i know, we know

the hills & valleys
are closer to us now
that the sky is sinking
in a disastrous
operatic crescendo

of smoke,
orange and black
of helicopter wings
that chop it all back
so, — just maybe, the sky
is fighting to rise

but we know very little
about stopping a flame
once a careless
match comment starts it off

i add loose-leaf
paper to the pile:
a ball of purple wax,
(the wick buried now)
some sea shells,
and i wonder if i look back

will my chittering dirty cups
sit quiet in the sink as
sirens gallop all around?

will my straw house stand naked
& privately gape at the orange
fire of sun shrouded in gray
flannel jackets of smoke?

we know nothing of stopping
a flame, —
we just watch it burn


for Real Toads