To burn.jpg

All the land was burned

And some of the sky

A cloud of smoke and ash

Crept into their eyes

While she sat motionless

Waiting for the cries to die—



She sent a dare into the night

Not spoken, but imagined,

Like a daydream taking flight,

Anticipation crowned her




The darkness that stirred

Before the darkness fell

Was invisible to the senses

But deeper than their wells

From which pure water

No longer flows—



No liquid drop to save this space

Where ravenous tongues

Snuffed smoldering grace—

In a race to reach the end

Of their doubts,

They reached the place

Where love ran out.



She sat in the ashes,

Unscathed but surprised

By the flame-charred lies

That ignited goodbyes

And the sighs

That would never be heard

Or disturbed from their places of rest—

If goodbyes be knives

And places be death.



Her dare came to this

Where yesterday dismissed

The vibrancy

Of all they built

Before the landscape’s tilt:



“My heart is an organ of fire,

as once it was writ,

it is no plaything,

my love.”



Then she stood to her feet,

Wiped the sweat from her brow,

Straightened her collar and

Exhaled her doubt,

As she walked away

She turned for a moment

To see the land

Charred with lament

“It could not be helped,

all the choices were taken

what was here is now gone

but new growth will come—

the future will reap

what the past has forsaken.”


copyright Jill Szoo Wilson

(Photo credit: Digital artist and photographer Beth Conklin‘s piece, To Burn.  Beth Conklin’s Website)