After the sudden fire in the brush,
the alder trunks had burned down to
their sap steamed up like breath,
giving up, and I sat in the ash,
and laid my shovel behind me, and
the low sun falling through the smoke.
I was tired from saving, what?
A shoulder of a logged-out hill,
a gray house others had abandoned.
All afternoon, nearly alone, with
my language in my palms, smacking
the shovel against burning wood.