Forest Fire
Forest Fire

Forest Fire

A poem.

January 6 th 2021

i stand and watch
the whole forest flee

the rabbits, the birds, the beetles
surge towards the river

i try to lift my feet, but they’re stuck
i raise a hand to my cheek and it’s dry
i open my mouth but i cannot cry

i stand and watch the flames twist
around the trees, lick up the plants
burn everything
in its path

run, run, run, run

i can’t run. i can only
stand and watch
as the fire glows and grows
devours all life in its path

i close my dry eyes and wait for it to burn me, too.

my eyes open to a barren world
i remember ashes, ashes
soot and ashes and heat
then falling down
onto the burnt soil

i watch the emptiness breathe
around the scarred trees;
i feel the earth die beneath
me heaving with grief
and sorrow
of all it has lost

i close my eyes and wait for the grief to consume me, too.

i blink,

the charred landscape is an empty canvas
waiting for new life
to grow in the scars

slowly, slowly

the pine cone seeds burst
and burrow into the ground

the birds flock to feast
the beetles that came from miles away

grass and trees sprout in
the soil made rich by the burning

fragments of beauty blooming in a broken heart

timidly growing, thriving on soil that suffered

slowly, slowly

until a stranger’s eyes would never know
of the pain here

they would never know the fire of loss
caused both my scars and my beauty

i lift a hand to my cheek and it’s wet
with tears of relief upon the release
of rain kissing the earth

here, i stand and watch
the whole forest grow.

Ruth Ann Bos
Ruth Ann Bos

Ruth Ann Bos is a high school co-op student from Hamilton District Christian High who is excited to learn as much as she can from Cardus's amazing team. She loves reading, writing, curling up with a good book, creating art, going for runs with her friends, or spending time with family.


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