when the wind razed our fields,
kicked dust into our throats,
cycloned eddies on the pond,

we hid in darkness
with the smell of earthworms and dirt
crowding our noses,

with kerosene flicker underground.
and when the day grew teeth
and came alive above us

we huddled, heads bent
and hands steepled,
whispers creating a nave.

after, surveying the land,
we walked drunkenly about,
stepping over the past

toward a clothesline still standing.
with undershirts flapping in the breeze
as the sun glimmered,

we bowed our heads once more
in the presence of God
and laundry that smelled of ozone.

in that half-light we came unmoored
and were grateful for hands
scented with pre-fire

and the possibilitiesof
all the soil
that once held our names.