What did the Scrub-Jay see?

As it surveyed the scene below,

Everything tinged an angry orange.

Ash hanging in the air.

Even the brilliant blue of its

Feathers obscured by

The fiery red of the sky.

Entire homes, people, treasures

Burned up, in seconds like

They never existed.

Their remnants blow in the wind, choking

Our lungs, begging us to

remember.

The breezes move in cold, dry air and

None of us can breathe without

Coughing.

I woke up that day, and it was

Dark.

At noon that day, it was

Darker, more ominous.

I stepped outside to see it, to enter

Another planet altogether.

Particles on my skin, clinging,

A mask fastened to my face.

An apocalyptic space adventure in my very own

Backyard.

There it was, I could make out a shape.

A scraggly baby Robin, spotted and

Precious.

The Kestrel, small and vicious, perched

In its usual place. Even today.

Their voices were muted, in the thickness of the

Smog. But they are still

singing, they are still

Here.

The blanket of smoke and dead things did

Eventually lift, but our bodies

Will never lose those weeks of

Grief. Days spent holding our

Breath, dust covering every living thing.

Death mixed with life, reminding us all

That this place, this planet

Is stronger than us. Volatile, mighty and

Vengeful at times. We are not

In charge.

We must stop to listen.

Words, Birds, and Daydreams.

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