Once there was a girl who loved to watch her father light his pipe. One morning when her parents were still in bed she climbed the kitchen counter and took matches from the top cupboard. She burned a hole in her shirt.
I once wondered how humans learned to make fire. Forest rangers are probably not amazed. They know about cycles of growth, decay, flame, ash. Early man saw burning bushes.
Folks escaping wildfires know
about scorched breath,
that fire melts, turns all to dust.
How tragic that, over the centuries,
flames that warmed us,
lit our cabins, cooked our food
burned fuel in engines,
empowered us to multiply, travel vast distances at unimagined speeds, clear acres of land and run factories
are slowly cooking the planet.