NCO/EPIC POETRY CONTEST WEEK 3 $100 WINNING POEM – BUG OUT BY MIA RUIZ

 6 years of firestorms each felt still
 in the lung of memory
 such precise fears, anxieties, losses

 even as spring eases into our minds in tender sun green leaves
 on the oaks
 and myriad wild flowers in bud through verdant grasses

 on the window screen a few Mayflies live out
 their one, amazing day of life perhaps admiring the view of the lake from which 
     they just emerged
give our lives perspective

 One evacuation under our belt Room in our car for only 3 kitties Some clothes, important    
     documents We drove to family in Humboldt
 8 hours, of letting go and letting go Silence, breath, introspective

 We thought about leaving these summers and autumns of smokey air
 and apocalyptic sunsets, but instead we buy a backpack, our 'bug out’ bag our new 
     lexicon, and laugh

 our evacuation plan written finally, on a crisp spring day in order of importance
 safety before danger, life before death the cry of the osprey half

 An hour before first light Catch and medicate the kitties Into the carrier, into the car 
     Our‘bug out’ bag
 Call to a friend
 Who will start our phone tree Our game of tag

 The car always full of gas We live deeply each moment

 Ready to ‘bug out’
 With no regret, no lament
Mia Ruiz

Mia Ruiz is a first-generation, Peruvian-American poet who has lived in the beautifully biodiverse, geographically chaotic, complicated county of Lake since 2010. She lives with her beloved before Clear Lake (whose basin has been inhabited by Pomo peoples for at least 11,000 years) and before Mt. Konocti, an active volcano; as such she is a poet who now lives in geologic time.

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