After the Burn
Long after burning chaparral has been extinguished,
an acrid rasp lingers, still singes lungs.
Orange ash drifts, compliments a pink sunrise,
gilds tree silhouettes with coronas of gold.
Falling particulate leaves a greasy smear
across subtle waves within the bronze bay.
Fewer sea birds populate empty beaches,
not a single harbor seal or otter in sight.
Fog and smoke comingle, smell like morbid winter.
Foothills resemble a lunar landscape, barren and gray.
Mesmerized by gold surroundings, I contemplate
purple sky, shreds of mist, scattering gulls.
From this fresh vantage, morning etches
its itinerary: a glowing, transient trail.
The sleeping harbor seal flutters one flipper,
lifts his tail to avoid splashing waves.
Fishing boats putter across molten bronze,
drag hidden nets toward open sea.
I peek through fogbanks, spy rising sun,
falling moon, tabla rosa new day.
Jennifer Lagier excels in leading snakes to water, also astray.