Letter: A poem about the Grizzly Creek fire | VailDaily.com

Letter: A poem about the Grizzly Creek fire

“Ashes on the Playground Slide”

The horizon closes in. A blue spruce bbq draws near. But there is no pit master. There is no grill. It’s just what the wind brings to Edwards.

Some say it started with a lit cig out a car window, others say it’s just nature or 2020 being 2020 or chance. Whatever the why my friend, please do your best rain dance.

Please do your best rain dance.

They evacuated No Name. Every time I drove by and saw that exit off the state’s crucial artery, I thought, No Name, that’s a real place with real people doing real things. Like not suffocating.

Our solace of the pandemic was fresh air. The hiking, the trees, the fox, the dead fox, the baby fox, the ticks, the rocks, the sun rises, the sunsets, the mountains, and of course, the mountains.

Many from Glenwood Springs Canyon are now in the Red Cross’s safe haven, Battle Mountain High School, where I used to play basketball every Sunday morning. Before COVID-19 that was.

I woke up to the table on the back porch covered in white ash, the air harsh to breathe, and yesterday’s clothes incensed like a campsite. But it’s nothing compared to the flames in No Name.

Thirty thousand plus acres. Not burnt. Burning. My lungs are irritated, not damaged. Our skyline is red-tinted, not smoke-filled. I am near, but not there. Temporarily, catastrophe adjacent.

“Before the sunshine goes away,” said my little one running to the playground. After climbing up the slide, she hangs on a bar, counts to 10, flexes her biceps, growls, and slides back down with ashes in her hands.

David Smooke


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