Record summer of fire
close to your home —
a trailer, parked at the confluence
of the Columbia River overflowing
with fish, and tinder dry
Methow Valley. Gone. The water tower,
school, and churches.
Your tortilla comal and family
pictures set in Michoacán, zircon
tiara from a glowing quinceañera,
torched. Smoked too, was your job
tending hilly orchards where apples
caramelized on the branch. Fire left you
stranded like the bear cub
whose mother couldn’t outrun
the flames. Afterwards, no one ate
the charred cows branded
and fenced in pasture, who were bred
not to flee, as you did, arriving
years ago with a few pesos, holding
tears on your tongue, and a blazing
hope — you might have been
the man standing, garden hose in hand,
spraying down his roof, green lawn
of dreams, untouched.