Where did the fire girl go when the field finally turned to ash? Where does the one who sets the flame end up when all the kindling is gone and the embers are no more?
With smoke in my lungs, I dig through the burnt ruins of my harvests. I hope to find something salvageable in the stubbled sprouts; all that’s left of false truths.
As a child I watched others set the fire and guide it along a shallow ditch. I held my great-grandmother and wrapped in the soft, folded skin of her arms I watched shadows march alongside the blaze.
“They will make it better for the next harvest season.”
They marched and watched and picked and fanned. The fire did not go out. Even when the leaves and stems were gone there were still roots to blaze.
In the middle of my fires, not even my tears can remain. Heat has consumed them, consumed me, and no matter how deep I dig, nothing is left for me to reclaim.
I drew the lines. I set the fire. My sickly crop is vanishing like dry wood shavings. No matter how much I wish, I can’t return to the comfort of the withered bushes and brittle vines.
In the orange blaze, my fields are cleansed. I cannot rush the smolder or halt its path. My healing can only begin when everything has returned to ash.
Photo by Yasin Hoşgör on Unsplash