This dry spring in the Davis Mountains,
what strange phenomena
burns only the ground covering,
leaving trees and even dead shrubs untouched?
Detoured by roadways and dry washes,
it crawls over the mountain ridges,
devouring each blade of brown grass,
caressing tree trunks,
but choosing not to linger.
It avoids the isolated home,
selective destruction at work.
Smoke obscures the ridges,
blankets this valley, not that,
following its preordained path.
The fire seems to have intelligence
and knows, far better than I,
that this, too, shall pass.
Jean, at 82, has been writing poems since she was 18. For 25 years she published a popular poetry quarterly of up to 100 pages, with a subscribership of nearly 500. Illness in 1986 ended the magazine. She currently publishes, by email, a 2-page monthly of clean humor. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org