Posted on | August 29, 2013
This poem is from Maya Roe as seen on sfgate.com this Morning.
On the Rim
The thin paper felt light
insignificant in comparison to the leaden words it held
105,000 acres consumed.
Just a number
with as much significance as any other
yet the voice of my dark eyed friend over the phone,
that her family left their home today
is not a number.
The fire ran childlike through
the dry late summer grassed hills, the
trees defenseless against her fiercely,
joyously placed footfalls.
Her smoky hair trailing
behind her blanketing the
buildings of my school in sun orange haze
with snow flake ash blowing in our eyes
The estimated cost of her wrath,
dizzying, tripling daily,
holds nothing against the places she has taken.
Rivers and lakes, in my memory still green and calm
I cannot mourn you or put a number to your loss so
I will measure it in starry nights, in lonely campfires, in shimmering trout
in quiet windless mornings.
I do not know why this child is running through my wilderness,
showing her power in our paper,
with a bloodstain red diagram,
over the places I love.
Bullet hole named
“Point of Origin”.
Another helicopter whirs in and over the treetops, and
I am amazed by nature’s power to remind us that we are only
as large as we make ourselves in our mind.
That we can only hope for the power
to be strong together in a time of disaster,
because we cannot hold this child,
she was lost long ago.
We can only hold our community,
root ourselves to each other, and
open our hearts
to those who left home today.
Who are more than a number.