the smell of smoke

At the end of a long day, I usually wind-down in front of the tv. I don’t really watch tv, but more of I listen to tv. Some cut-up melons for after-dinner munchies, a magazine to browse, two cats purring at my feet and one stick incense to burn, I am a happy camper. My husband, of course is in charge of the remote. One of his favorite is TRMS, no one breaks down the daily headlines like Rachel Maddow. But lately, the news is heart-wrenching.
A poem ‘Somewhere in the world’ by Linda Pastan in Traveling Light:

Somewhere in the world
something is happening
which will make its slow way here.

A cold front will come to destroy
the camellias, or perhaps it will be
a heat wave to scorch them.

A virus will move without passport
or papers to find me as I shake
a hand or kiss a cheek.

Somewhere a small quarrel
has begun, a few overheated words
ignite a conflagration,

and the smell of smoke
is on its way;
the smell of war.

Wherever I go I knock on wood—
on tabletops or tree trunks.
I rinse my hands over and over again;

I scan the newspapers
and invent alarm codes which are not
my husband’s birthdate or my own.

But somewhere something is happening
against which there is no planning, only
those two aging conspirators, Hope and Luck.


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