Runcible Spoon

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Fire in Butte County


"The firefighters were telling us

to move back," said Craig,

"but in Spring Valley there's no 'back'

to move to. Those firetrucks met

50 pickups towing horse trailers

on that narrow little road."

I had nothing for Craig

I could only help by listening

"I got out with

one dog and

2 out of 3 cats," he said

"At least it's raining," I said lamely

I couldn't help but think

of that 3rd cat

as I drove out

past the matchstick trees

like black stubble on a giant

pouring muddy tears

down its cheeks.