We walked through some woods, my happy family and I, but the trees were all dead from the fires.
We looked for some leaves, my happy family and I, we walked shadeless beneath white rocky spires.
We traipsed past a log, my wandering children and I, it was black on the shell and had fallen.
We scrambled through rocks, exploring children and I, charcoaled soot into dirt, broken, sodden.
They sang in the woods, those peaceful children of mine, I think birds hovered low in new pine trees.
They skipped down the trail, peaceful children, all mine, faces red but shown grace by a fine breeze.
I looked down the woods, surreal family behind, eyes were open and that’s when I saw them.
I stooped into grass, family running up ahead, and saw flowers, gently nodding their welcome.
I ran stamping dirt, wide-eyed children were waiting, and I pointed out all of those flowers.
We came down the path, silly Mama still panting, but they’d seen them for hours and hours.
So I stopped where I was, Gifts all laid out in front, and turned round with eyes open in wonder.
I saw that scorched woods, Gifts glowing bright in the sun, grew such colors, out of logs broke asunder.
I turned toward their figures, their backs turned to me, and thought beauty does come from the ashes.
I stared at the ground, was it so hard to see, scars are stories- years go by and pain passes.
I caught up to my clan, they were frolicking with joy, and I walked in a bright understanding.
There’s new life to grow, not around, not below, but through tree trunks laid bare and demanding-
That the wounds don’t stay black, that they nourish and grow, all new trees and the flowers that grow there.
Finger presses lens shut, it opened wide and found grace, I’ve a photo and that’s how I’ll remember
How we drove home full with dust, and the breeze that fell sweet, my children watching a sun glow to embers.
And when we walk through some woods now, my sweet family with me, and I see strangers-the ones that God rendered,
But walking past those burnt trees, bent down hard, just like me, may they see the flowers, and give thanks to their Sender.