Last Wild Note

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 –
today
lies smoldering
and silent.

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
and burned through the blackness bewildered as we watched.