What ashes fall upon the winter snow
that traveled through the ozone to our door
from liquid fires, raging as they flow
like rivers, to the California shore?
A wedding dress in flakes as fine as whispers,
the fragments of the crib a father framed,
all the photo books, brothers and sisters.
Alas—these ashes bear too many names
and smoke-stained faces to identify
the separate family stories raining here.
But history says a place called Paradise
was lost, and now their past is singed and seared—
and mingles with a jet stream in the sky,
and rains across the continent like tears.