Fire crept down the lofty mountains,
lapped up Mt. Lemmon’s piney trees
eating at the desert’s gorgeous greenery,
insatiably devouring all it came to see.
The sheriff, knocking on my door,
said it had taken sight of me and mine.
That it would soon be time to run,
“You have two hours to collect
the precious things you wish to save.”
It haunts my soul both then and now
that in that lonely smoke filled moment
I could hardly think of anything
that mattered all that much to me.
I grabbed Grandma’s ancient Bible,
old photos, our marriage license,
some valued papers, a dirty, dusty box
filled with odds and ends of memories
I found eroding on the closet floor.
We loaded up the trusty Buick’s trunk
with the things we mostly never see,
leaving things we thought we needed
at the mercy of the fickle, wayward winds
who conspired with the roaring flames
to consume what didn’t matter anyway.
Firefighters and retardant laden planes
turned all the fuming fire into ashen char.
And we ran back to what we didn’t really love.