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Something You Should Know

Grace Schwenk

Something you should know


is that when I was three

I pressed my face to the front

of our red-hot

woodstove. The orange flames

danced behind the glass.

Taunting me. Saying

“Come get me.” And so

I did.

At the sound of my screams

my mom came running.

“Never play with fire,”

she said, holding a damp washcloth

on my scorched nose.

“It will only hurt you.”

Perhaps, that is why I stood watching

as wind caught the Chrandall Creek Fire.

The others pounced

pulaskis in hand, chasing

orange flames ripping up the ridge.

I froze

unable to move

unable to chase

the fire torching trees

growing from type 5 to type 3

in seconds. With my mom’s voice

echoing through my head

and a broken heart in black.



Grace Schwenk is a writer from the Bitterroot Valley of Montana. When not writing, she can be found getting lost in the mountains with her pack of hiking chihuahuas.

Photo Credit: Emilee Luke, "Solstice Glow"

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