When the breeze begins
to burn and fire pit flames
grow too high and hot,
she stands close by.

It’s when things cool down,
she sees her error.

Alone in the yard,
she slowly steps
backward—the direction
she knows best.

It pains her
not to run.

Everything silent, still
under a slate sky,
she removes herself
with an eye on a worn life

preserver with wings
propped against a fence.

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