Lost Cove Wildfire
After weeks without rain in the Blue Ridge,
a fire spreads on Christmas Eve, then smolders
under snow but snags and smoke remain
as firefighters in California find ghost trees
on the forest floor, scorched imprints
of fallen trunks, branches, and twigs.
Meanwhile, my sister builds a fire in her house,
tosses kindling on logs and, in lieu of a bellows,
blows on the blue blaze to keep it burning.
How thin is the wire between the flaring flame
in the hearth —the heat, the heart!—and the wildfire
that starts with a single spark?
Beth Copeland is the author of Blue Honey, 2017 Dogfish Head Poetry Prize winner; Transcendental Telemarketer (BlazeVOX, 2012); and Traveling through Glass, 1999 Bright Hill Press Poetry Book Award winner. Her chapbook Selfie with Cherry is forthcoming from Glass Lyre Press. She owns Tiny Cabin, Big Ideas™, a retreat for writers in the Blue Ridge Mountains.