Mar 6, 2019
By Elizabeth Carothers Herron
She holds the cigarette outside
the open window of the CR-V
pulled to the side of the road,
engine running as she answers
her cell. Fires burning
miles to the east
smudge the sun orange.
Her shopping wasn’t out of boredom
but the uneasy understanding
it’s all connected – the fire,
the fracking boom towns,
the money she spends, the child
dying a world away
because a war is going on,
because the river is salted
by a rising sea, because the hospital
has no antiviral, because the farm
is a desert now, because
she’s driving this SUV.
Another child in a dull gray building
behind a chain-link fence
remembers the murmur of prayers
in a different language, before
he lost his name and became
a number. He is here because
the gangs have told his mother if --
The authorities are surprised
by attention to these children,
these people whose lives
have nothing to do with Macy’s
or Amazon or Whole Foods,
nothing to do with people
who don’t count their change,
nothing to do with her.
She holds her cigarette outside
so the upholstery and her hair
won’t smell like smoke. She smokes
because she is scared
and because she can’t forget
the ones too weak to cry
she saw on the news.
Smoke blown from the fires
sticks in a haze of ash
to the windshield. She’s heard
it carries the dust of the dead
along with toxic particles
of plastic and melted metal –
carpeting, refrigerators, cars,
always cars now – the air
than her cigarettes.
From space the lines of fire appear
like the bright ragged hem
of an irregular coastline.
180 million years ago
the lights came on in the universe
with the fiery birth of stars.
Please support our sponsors:
Package Bee Installation Demonstration
April 13, 14, 20 and 21, 2 ~ 3pm
Doug will install a package of bees into a box to demonstrate how simple and safe this can go.
Your GUIDE to support locally-owned garden businesses and natural landscaping practices.
Find Goldsmiths and Jewelers who create custom designs, offer jewelry repair, estate appraisals, and gems.