ashes ashes

Fire drills are no longer about
fires.
The school practices for
"a situation."
The youngest have no idea
what that means.
We adults do.

We stand in the fall sunshine,
marked out evenly across the 
green field and blue sky,
discouraging whispering
while also rejoicing in their
casual silliness,
their ignorance.

The principal's voice:
the ominous "situation" -
our minds retrieve
images we wish we could 
erase.
If only we could return
to the clean
engulfing flames,
a bad wire,
a freak lightning strike,
stop drop and roll.

Every night Cedar sings
ashes ashes
and I see all those 
plagued children
falling down.