Bare New Year’s branches
Bereft of last year’s splendour
Grasp the grisly sky
time stands still
stupefied by heat and smog–
this strange oppressive greyness
that crouches over the city
obscuring the view.
Every morning the sun sends ruddy orange beams
through my glass porch door
like a joke played by someone
with a giant coloured flashlight
pretending we’ve woken up on Mars.
The mountains have disappeared in smoke,
the interior forest fires making
an imaginary conquest of the coast.
Even the rooftops three blocks away
have been engulfed by this grey Nothing.
My kids don’t care.
They play outside oblivious to all change
except the burning orb of the sun in the evening–
a giant fireball glowing red
a perfect sphere glaring at us
like the eye of Mordor.
“Take a picture, take a picture!” they cry,
but for once my iPad mini camera doesn’t do it justice
and we are forced to just stare long enough
to imprint the image in our memories
next to distant recollections of clear blue sky.