By Julia Gaetano
I’m sorry that destruction doesn’t take mercy on roses.
I’m sorry that some mistakes don’t
burn themselves out with smoke in their wake,
but rather spark and catch fire,
ravaging and burning and killing.
I only knew the blooming flowers, the green trees,
the songs of the robins and crickets.
I did not stand at the tree line as it burned.
I only saw smoke on the horizon,
caught whiffs in the air.
I should have stood by with blessed water,
attempted to stamp out the flames; at the
very least bore sacred witness to the
destruction of such beauty.
I should have laid to rest such a pure love.
Regret now lives in the roots of my trees;
it’s perched on the branches next to the robins’ nests,
filled with memories that look like
cracked picture frames
and faded photographs.
The nests and the memories and regret
weigh down the branches that
nearly touch the ground, weeping,
longing for the birds of your sky
to grace their limbs with song.
But the ash settled at the end of summer,
marking the end of warm air and lightning bugs.
The brisk Autumn brought yellow leaves,
the color of Amber, bright like your fire,
longing for your glowing love.