Wildfire Father

I have my father’s nose, and my mother’s disposition.

I have her hands, and his eyes.

His strength and resilience.

Her bleeding heart.

Her taste in music.

If my father were the sun, then she was Mother Earth,

and they orbited each other in the only way two broken souls know how to.


In 1989, wild fires burned 46,000 acres of the Idaho national forest clean away.

Long before I was even a blip on my mother’s radar,

these stumps were burnt and blackened, these boulders were cracking from the heat.

There were people who had lost their families and homes, long before I would lose mine.


Now, I recognize the veins in my feet as belonging to her, the way salmon remember the streams from which they spawn

and the long since charred logs have found their way into the rivers, creating pools for the fish to use as habitats.


If my mother was the lightning storms that lit those fires in Idaho, then my father certainly was the fire

and if my father was the fire, then my mother was the rains that cooled them.

In her absence, he just burns.

Everything around him burns,

the trees

the brush

the bridges

the relationships

and me.


But on the hiking trails in Idaho,

nature is at work rebuilding itself.

And the fire has made way for new life to grow.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s