The fields are bleeding.It's been seven years, they say. The foxes ran through and set the wheat on fire after the ruling and the tribes melted into their armor. I drop this pottery in the dust by my feet, and it breaks and scatters before I can gather the blue-hewn chips into neat, small piles with my hands. The burnt powder on my forearms was always red and dark, ready for hotter deserts or a more sacred harvest, so I will stand under this tree even if this tree doesn't want me. The women are still there with their baskets. You told me my hair was like rain or looked like I had stolen something in the afternoon light, and I vended the rocks you left just so you'd tell me to stop. Even so, you unhitched the smoke-dried knots and pulled down the fastened arches between the mounts. Everything was flooded then. Now, we walk on brittle land and crack whips without thinking.
The fire is coming down.
© Lauren Bernhagen 2011
"I could have stretched forth My hand and stricken you... and you would have been effaced from this earth. Nevertheless I have spared you for this purpose in order to show you My power..." Exodus 9:15-16