“The deepest lessons come out of the deepest waters and the hottest fires.”
— Elisabeth Elliot
He goes to make me another cup…
(Somehow coffee always tastes better
when he does). And I stay still and listen
to a gentle melody — I rarely sit in silence
these days, so soothed by cello and piano —
no words, just waves of woodwinds & strings.
In between songs or during decrescendos,
I can hear the humming next door—a fire
spread through one house, severely
damaged another, and that house
is now powered by a tractor-sized
generator….If I listen past the grumble,
I can hear the first sounds
of morning birds in the tall pine
that shades our window, but it seems
there are fewer now than before the burn,
perhaps they found a new neighborhood.
It has been two weeks since the red
trucks from emergency services filled
our block. There is a giant tarp over
the roof covering the mangled house
where they poured in hours of water —
a serpentine hose from a towering ladder
just kept pumping as we waited
for the river to come, but the ground
just sucked it up, the house a sponge,
and we all stood outside helpless
and in shock.
And now, miles away, Texas continues
to burn…. So much loss… We wait
to hear about containment… We saw
the ruin of one house, one small part
of our neighborhood, and now the towns
of Gorman and Carbon must be feeling
like the family two houses down
(We never even took the time to know them)
and I fear as the winds pick up, we
will see ash heaps from fields of flames,
land razed, ruin, and I pray for clean,
cool mercy to come in waves.
All this and Ukraine, and I sit
—full, safe — waiting for love
to bring me a second cup of warmth.
—C.L. Fisher, March 2022
Unless otherwise indicated, all writings and images are the work of C.L. Fisher and may not be copied, used, or distributed without permission.