Wildfire

Some driver ahead of me
must have tossed
a cigarette
into the shoulder grass. 
Flames
are rising like thread
along the blades and smoke
is beginning to collect
above them.

I stop, whomp the fire
with a blanket from the trunk
and it spreads out
from the whoosh
of air.  Out of control!
I open the cell phone
and call it in.

The trucks come
and handle the crisis in minutes,
though it’s burned much
in a short time.  The men
seem almost bored
as they spray and shovel — small
wonder at what for them was small,
routine, nothing really.  Third one
today, in fact,
one of them tells me. 
Par for the course in August.

Too late now
I think of how careless
I’ve always been, how reckless
so often
in attempting to stop
destruction
with one blow. 
Too sure of my intelligence
to use any of it, when all it would take
is a method practiced
often enough to be automatic —

and too late, also, I find
I’ve again made a wildfire
into a metaphor. 

Perhaps
that’s also
part of my problem,
that everything looks like
my problem.

Blogged with the Flock Browser

About Tony Brown

A poet with a history in slam, lots of publications; my personal poetry and a little bit of daily life and opinions. Read the page called "About..." for the details. View all posts by Tony Brown

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