Susan Rich: “Childhood Study: Fires Late August”

Childhood Study: Fires Late August

Awake in the middle of the night,
we listen to the grass crackle, to the new world of evacuate.

Like monkeys we screech as the trees go pop—

yellow candelabras, we see and then not.
Now danger damages our capillaries

for the first time, the ladder trucks and sirens

seem like small toys compared with
the neighbor’s fire-fangled trees.

What lit-up between us that summer—

three sisters clustered like barn cats— I can’t say
except for a time camaraderie

warmed the soles of our feet, our robes

remaining intact just one season—
before it all burned away.

—Susan Rich

“Childhood Study: Fires Late August,” by Susan Rich, from Cloud Pharmacy. Used by permission of the author.

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