Into some strange

land with its blackened

moonscapes craters

burned out warrens

packrat’s heaped

burrow gaping empty

he moves slowly

plodding westward

through ashy stobs

he has to gingerly navigate

hefting himself around

their jutting shafts

his claws gathering soot

in this haunted wasteland

he doesn’t recognize

ponders where

it will end tired

of finding plastron

and carapace

strewn along the trail

then at the base

of a brown cedar dropping

needles the two year old

hinged so tightly shut

its instincts futile

against racing flames

he’d never seen it

as bad as it was that day

recalls clawing air as if

flying, landing again

on the old trail, a glimpse

of a red truck beside

the fire line

pauses now beside white cups

of newly bloomed strawberries

extends his wrinkled head

to gaze ahead; how many hours

before he gains remembered woods