The Ashen Lands

Bones creak as I rise
To dim gray morning light.
Stumbling across the floor
Crimson life from my lip takes flight.

Years ago indigo the soared the sky.
One time wooden giants stood towering and green.
Years ago had naturally breathing air supply.
One time people met publicly with routine.

Opening the metal tin.
Charcoal goods rest inside.
Against the red stained lips.
Little nutrition does it provide.

To the flames I did once rush.
My loves would not leave without me.
Bringing a stop to the fiery brush.
My loves trapped by the ashen tree.

Gloves slide over cracked hands.
Duster draped over well worn shoulder.
Sliding holed socks into cracked leather boot.
Filtered mask for gas allow breath in air of smolder.

When all was lost to home I tried.
Found my love and child in waiting.
Our embrace with tears we cried.
Among the lily pond they had been awaiting.

The charred trees still giving off heat.
Through my leather covered hands it still burns.
Ash hanging in the smoke covered sky.
Each step crunching the anthracite always brings concerns.

Struggling to find breath in our new land.
Hoping to save anything we can.
Struggling for food in hand.
Hoping to live where we began.

Buck of blackened hide.
My ember wood bow I draw.
The arrow lets loose from its home.
Striking the char animal in its side.

Wandering for an eternity.
We looked for home and heart.
A sanctuary in this absurdity.
Sorrowfully each respite we quickly depart.

Flecked obsidian in hand.
Softly stepping to the nearly dead.
Watching the air slowly stop entering.
Gently I slice just under the head.

Hand and hand we continued to walk.
Black and gray as far as the eye can see.
Our child to scared to talk.
Holding resolve firmly as can be.

Each cut of meat as dark as midnight.
What else can there be in a world of ash.
Only half can fit in my pack.
Leaving without the rest feels to rash.

Having found home we can give rest.
A small lake need treating to give us water.
Ashen land fertile for hope to invest.
Surviving this we vow together.

Weighted by my catch of the day.
Heavy and slow I move through the soot filled air.
Pressing my way though the past the darken wood.
In front of me I see my goal and stair.

To our home more we add.
Bringing further security and defenses.
Now hidden deep with just the little we had.
We use everything from burn wood to fences.

Each step becoming harder.
I feel this trip tacking it’s toll.
My lenses and filter stressing in heavy use.
I must place my catch in a hidden hole of coal.

Our nights long as we waited.
Every howling brought nightmare dreams.
Close we stayed until the screaming sedated.
Safety was not what as it seems.

Sitting beside the hole I made.
Wondering if this was just a mistake.
Always ever year i came.
Musts keep going no matter for their sake.

With each meal brought harder coughs to our child.
Each drink brought pain to my loves chest.
Everyday I watched them suffer while they smiled.
Everyday I wished this wasn’t my best.

Heavier and heavier I step.
Every breath I deeply coughed.
Sweat pouring into my lenses.
I keep trying to hold my head aloft.

My dears coughing crimson life.
Pain running deeply through their body.
Everything they do causes them strife.
Holding them until they sleep fondly.

Here I am.
Their they rest.
Resting under ashen ground.
Tears all are I expressed.

Two holes dug for my loves.
Placing them in one by one.
Ash laid over them from above.
Hardest thing I’ve ever done.

Around my neck I pull
At the plastic heart locket my child loved.
Red filled my filter and drips from the mask.
I lay and rest beside my two beloved.


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