This one was originally published in Alaska Women Speak
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.