One curl of smoke, black. One flash of feathers, white.
Yesterday’s gnarled stand of dense green undergrowth –
a sweating warren where the ticking tree frogs and cackling crickets
sweetly serenaded the shadows playing upon my back porch –
Sometime after dusk, curved blades were drawn. Torches, kindled.
Safe behind our panes of glass we witnessed
barbed sparks being thrust into piles of soft brown tinder –
smoking brands snapping and tumbling into russet-colored flame –
and finally as forest ruptured into roaring conflagration
red and meteoric
every living thing with a means fled.
And the rest –
the rest burned
and burned through the blackness bewildered as we watched.