Originally published in the now defunct journal 13 Chairs
The Fireweed Dies
a slow death in the dwindling Alaskan sun
surrounded by its closest family of weeds.
As the daylight shortens
and the August rain comes
the fireweed, once admired for its magenta beauty,
its petals that set the roadside aglow,
fades, growing white with age.
Its fragile cotton sways in the wind
until the rains come and its days are labored
as life draws to a close.
In its last breath, the final puff leaves its lips
and takes flight with a gust of wind,
before falling to the earth and decay,
leaving its skeletal stalks to survive
the fall solstice only to be buried in the winter snow.