When Hell is Not a Metaphor

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There’s a slight chance of rain next week
Until then, orange skies and pierced lungs
Down here our breath is poison
Where are you God, where were you?

It’s so  much worse up there
I heard the flames moved at 100 yards per second
They had no way out
Hundreds missing and tens of thousands homeless now
Where is your protection?

Hell manifest in space and time
And it’s not a metaphor, I wish it was
And we have nothing
Our prayers seem fleeting

Around here everyone’s on edge
Hearts nervous and dread creeps
Things are not right
And we’re in it together

Everything looks like the movies
The ones after The End
We’re sucking in scorched trees, homes, and life
Wondering, how much longer?

The list more than tripled last night
The souls they can’t find
What is their fate?

I drive past my neighbors in the tent cities
Pressing the gas to get us indoors
Keep the baby and dog safe
That’s number one

But what about them?
What about the thousands we pass by without their own indoors?
They’re enslaved to this air
The air that gives life, filled with death
Do you even care?

And we’re hundreds of miles away
From the burnt down town
Where the heavy smoke of Hell’s despair hovers
And it’s not a metaphor, we wish it was

God I know this will pass,
But why not sooner?
How much longer will we drown in this harsh moment?
Lord, be who you are
Because your children suffer.

——-

This poem was written to process, pray, and honor those affected by the Camp Fire.  Here is one resources to find ways to support them, but there are many other ways:

https://sacramento.cbslocal.com/help-2/

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