By Cynthia Mitchell

The curtain of smoke parted

for a short while, this morning,

bringing relief

from burning eyes –

not to be confused with

relief from burning fires.

Suffering immeasurable,

devastation widespread.

Many beings of mountain forests

losing more than humans,

whose homes somehow

rated more valuable,

are built on top of theirs.

Tragedy measured in lost lives

of firefighters –

Wolves, bears, moose, deer

and other creatures,

coming in second.

An eerie beauty in the smoky sky

creates artful sunsets

and a momentary relief

from an ancient fear…

Cynthia Mitchell lives in Ashland, Oregon.