Do not question why it happened.
Do not answer with your theories
if another questions you. If another
approaches at all, in fact, get up
and get out. This is no time for that.
Ashes in sky, ashes on tongue.
No imminent growth foreseen.
No reason to panic. Lie down
for a bit. Let what is leftover from burning
shroud you in dissolving gray and white.
Get up and carry your living out to a beach or a jetty,
out where waves threaten to knock you back
from that littoral space. Ocean remembers
you, knows you, and will push you back
if you are not yet ready to be drowned.
Days or weeks from now, you will still be
brushing ash from your shoulders as you trudge inland.
In hills ahead is a road that will pass through
or around your now-poisoned former home —
and regardless of route, you must go there.