Sorting by

Skip to main content

This year, the ash came to us. 
It floated down, almost beautifully, landing on our windshields, our lawn chairs, and our eyelashes.
We coughed on it and found another reason to wear a mask.
When the wind hit right, the ash piles on the street 
looked like waning ocean waves trickling over the sand,
or like strands of wispy hair braiding itself. 

As the fires baptized the hills we loved,
and the ash continued to smudge our clothing, some of us wondered:
Did I know that tree? 
Had I passed it on a hike while the magpie flounced among its branches?
And where is the magpie now?

People became ash too.
The charts and data piling up,
numbers, almost beautifully, compounding and surging.

As the ash fell, and the news kept hitting,
I wondered:
Did I know any of them?
Had I ever passed them on the street?
And when will the tinders land on my doorstep? 

Oh, they did,
For the ash gets everywhere. 

And now, I know why we wear the ashes on our heads.
We are all 
the tree,
the magpie,
the stranger,
the ocean,
We are all

tenderly, hopelessly, entwined. 

Katrina Tomlin

Katrina Tomlin is a writer, pastor, and avid thrifter. She lives in Fort Collins with her husband and three children.