Phoenix

I stood before the still lake,
looking across water only to find more water;
tears crowded the edges of my eyes,
threatening to spill any time.
My eyes fell to my hands,
the only thing I seemed to be in
           control
                              of.
I looked up to see the trees crumble,
bowing down to the horrendous flames­­
the color of fall leaves, bursts
of yellow and orange,­­ crushing
everything underneath.
The sky was on fire too:
the sun dyeing the white clouds
first pink, then purple, then hints of bright red.
Just the edge of the horizon at first,
but the colors took 
             control,
like ink seeping through paper.
Like the sun etching history
into the clouds,
Leaving the past for only the birds to read
and for me to remember.

I saw my home,
my life,
the animals who dug up my backyard plants,
all disappearing with the crackle of the fire.
I saw the flames licking the shores of the lake,
pushing with all their might.
I saw no limit to the power,
the strength,
the persistence.
They advanced as a
single
being working for a same goal: to
destroy.
I stumbled backwards from the fire
miles away,
my head dizzy from the
strong smoke fumes.
I lay onto the grass and closed my eyes.
This won’t last forever.
           Nothing does,
I reminded myself.

I walk alongside the fallen trees,
a path paved by the thousands of feet
that have already come to mourn the loss
of this natural majesty.
I kneel down
to honor the place I once found a
tiny bird,
almost frozen from the winter cold.
If I shut out the rest of the world,
I can almost hear its melodious voice
serenading me.
I reach down to pick up a golden leaf,
admiring the rough beauty
before it falls apart to ash,
blown away by the wind.
Through the scattered piles of burnt wood and leaves,
I find a green seedling,
shooting up from the destruction.
The hope within me rekindles,
and I know that if one seed can grow,
the whole forest can be rebuilt
again,

As a phoenix rising from the ashes.

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