The Long Struggle

The terrible and restless quiet
that preceded the thick wild smoke
and the toppling Jenga tower.
The streets buried in the grey ash
that turned the sky into night fire
and bellowed thunder and wails.
The huge masses of cinder-filled air
that spouted gouts of frantic fear
and tested the limits of patience.
The threatening confusion and anger
that commanded endless suffering
and met with torture and litigation.
The almost forgotten pain that fell
out of sight and the crushing guilt.