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Where There’s Smoke, a Poem by Donna Pucciani

A sky bathed in haze

veils the prairies, bringing

another day of whitish-grey

over corn and soybeans

and the skyscrapers of Chicago.


We lost the blue weeks ago

in a morning’s harried glance.

Primary pollutants, they say,

creep down in the thickness

of cloud from Canada’s wildfires,

their path subject to the whims

of the wind. Acres of forest

in Thunder Bay burn out of control,

and miles to the south, cracked earth


knows sky-dirt and breathlessness

in a Midwest abandoned by ozone.

We struggle to inhale the remains

of a world on which we have written

our own demise in the ink of ashes,

in the well-deserved dust of denial.


Donna Pucciani, a Chicago-based writer, has published poetry worldwide in Shi Chao Poetry, Poetry Salzburg, Acumen, Journal of Italian Translation, ParisLitUp, and other journals. Her seventh and most recent book of poetry is EDGES.


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