A spark set the woods ablaze

pine sap bursts, dead branches snap and crack
Black smoke plumes fill the sky
the ground rumbles with vibration from animals’ quick escape
We watch the flames consume all around us
observing all we knew turning to ash by daybreak
When the fire weakens,
when it gasps for air
we stand with buckets of water to pour out our grief
to drown these flames for good
Those of us who have been here before 
know that the fire never dies
We bury it beneath the earth
where new life emerges across the surface
where deep roots keep a firm grip in the soil
And the fire lies dormant below our feet
until we are once again careless
too preoccupied to stay vigilant
and we reignite the smoldering fury again and again
betraying the forest, 
betraying the creatures who live peacefully in it,
betraying everyone
betraying ourselves.