“Willow Rebuilds” was published in Alaska Women Speak‘s Fall Issue 2015. This poem was written about the aftermath of the Sockeye Fire in Willow, Alaska.
from the shards of glass, the piles of wood ash,
the remains of once soggy work shirts and jeans, and
a burned out jeep.
Beyond the twisted metal of a former guard rail and
the cardboard signs thanking the Alaska Sockeye firefighters,
the birch and spruce warriors still stand.
Some trunks burn black while others burn auburn,
like a passion that refuses to die or rest defeated.
Yet, off in the distance, where the ash grass turns
a brittle yellow then a tall green,
the fireweed rises,
its magenta petals ignite the landscape with life,
encircling the new plywood,
and the owner’s grinding saw,
as the cabin rises again.
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