By Lucille Ausman
he is out extinguishing wild fires
lost in the smoke
digging lines in the ground trying to trap her behind the wall before she can reach him
suffocating in her fury
he’s strong and brave and all American
but she doesn’t want protecting
she doesn’t want to cool down and calm down
the report reads
try to break out the fire hoses and hold her back
but you can’t
her power and heat covers the landscape
filling it with blackness
and everything changes
life as it was
only weeks later
the color purple
beautiful delicate and full of new life
out of the flames
grow the roots of hope.
Lucille Ausman recently graduated from Smith College where she studied Anthropology and Government and where her interest in activism and social justice took root. She has spent the summer living in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest in the Pacific Northwest and working with the Forest Service during one of the most dangerous fire seasons on record, in part due to climate change. She dedicates this poem to the activists whose own flames cannot be contained by our current political climate.
Photo credit: Alan Levine via a Creative Commons license.