by Michele Habel-Coffey
There is but smoke again. Only the embers of the McDonalds bags and the exoskeleton of a box of wine remain, glowing. The sun sets on another day.
Eveything is soaked. Wet, grey and cold are draped overarchingly, with raised white eyebrows. They watch. They remember.
I need the fire today. The scent of smoke from one of God’s creations burning. I won’t change my shirt before bed. The corpses of trees smell like home.
The smoke belches forth in a pushing plume of white and grey – but cold doesn’t claim the tattered shell of the coalminer’s hand-crafted fire box. His welded workings fence the flames. The smoke gives way and the flames rise, but do not sprawl. The forest smiles. Today I am thankful for the man’s box.
With my winter-white hand I push down on the last of the Christmas tree branches and just after I am safety distant, a fire bursts to life.
Snap. Crackle. Pop.
The Christmas tree is burning. And the fragrant scent of pagans rides the wind.
Deep bow. Day One.