Charred carbon inkblots rorschach the landscape, edge the highways, creep the forest floor.
Fire seethes in creek beds, scalds mud-dust, hisses grass black.
It scales trees, and slap-crackles the sap. On spark whipped wind, fire bounds-- crown to crown to crown.
In muffled daylight, choked still in smoke-shadow, firefighters awed by flames, stack their blacked hands on top of helmets on top of heads. Then, they turn and run.
River Elizabeth Hall is a writer, educator and a naturalist. Her poems and short fiction have recently appeared or are forthcoming in Cirque, Into the Void, Sunspot Lit, and Tinderbox among others. Twitter: @RiverEHall.