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Tuesday, September 22, 2020


by Diana Morley

A neighborhood destroyed by fire is seen as wildfires devastate the region, Thursday Sept. 10, 2020 in Talent, Ore. (AP Photo/Paula Bronstein via The Record Searchlight)

Two long days driving
through thick smoke
behind, ahead, behind
other fleeing drivers,
all going seventy, eighty mph
to get to air.
Diverted from inland to coast
from coast to inland—
fire grenades exploding 
in the hills alongside,
confusing the confused

on the road through 
Sweet Home
behind family
trailer homes
horse trailers
evacuating out of town 
till I reach a motel
where I need news— 

the radio 
assures me at 5 pm—

stock market up a tad

China, a valuable resource
for released Disney film—
‘an impossible resource to ignore.’

Author’s Note: I escaped the Alameda fire in Talent last Tuesday. For two days I thought my house was gone, then learned mine and one other neighbor’s survived on the block. That’s fire for you. My return won’t be to the neighborhood; it will be to both sorrow for my neighbors and joy for all those helping and planning for the future.

Diana Morley has published two books of poetry, one in 2019, one this year, been awarded honors by the Oregon Poetry Assn.  Lived in Oregon for 20 years, in Talent for 15 years.