Smoke Mirrors

Morning mists mimicking evening smoke.

There is no crackling

To be heard

Along the makeshift

Fences that divide

Makeshift shacks

That are homes

To cattle and geese.

A waft of mesquite,

Or perhaps charcoal,

Enters my room

And floods my senses

With thoughts of

Summer outings

I didn’t particularly

Care for,

And imitation fires

At theme park attractions.

I walk outside

The front door,

The only door,

To find the city not

Exactly ablaze,

But shrouded as if

They summoned smoke

In a miraculous feat.

The sun hides

Behind the clouds

As the grey mist

Drifts carelessly

Across the town,

Each little fire

Behind each little fence

Contributing to a mass

That transcends

Those makeshift borders.

“It’s to burn the trash,”

I hear one say.

“They do it so that

The mosquitos don’t

Harass the cows

While milking,”
Another retorts.

Unwanted answers

To an unasked


I walk through the haze,

Eyes moist,

But not agitated,

Watching the children

Play as the drunks

Stumble on uneven keel,

With teenagers

Reveling in the

Controlled chaos.

Composed 06/16/12

Author’s note: One day, I found the entire village I was staying in filled with smoke. Smoke blanketed everything on that long summer day; it was truly a sight to behold.

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