Burned trees and scorched earth tell the story of what happened here.

I can barely recall details of people, names, and places once so intimately familiar, nor the life that was, for a time, lush and green as the woods. A flash – a single moment – and everything changed. This once-thriving forest is now unrecognizable.

Fire consumes all.

I can see smoke rise from the embers of the life I once lived.

And where there is smoke, there will be fireweed thriving in places touched by flame.

I used to be someone else. Now I am the fireweed.


Written in response to the February 8, 2018, flash fiction challenge at Carrot Ranch Communications

In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story that includes fireweed. You can use it as the plant, a flower, a metaphor or as the name of someone or something. Go where the prompt leads. Burn bright when you write. 

Also joining the crew over at Ivy Walker‘s blog for Six Sentence Stories. Each week writers are challenged to spin a tale in just six sentences.* This week’s cue is SMOKE. Click on the link right here to read some great stories and link up to share your own!

*I do realize I have eight sentences, not six. I’m over it.

Lisa A. Listwa is a self-employed writer with experience in education, publishing, and the martial arts. Believing there was more to life than punching someone else’s time clock and inspired by the words of Henry David Thoreau, she traded her life as a high school educator for a life as a writer and hasn’t looked back. She is mother to one glorious handful of a daughter, wife to the nicest guy on the planet, and reluctant but devoted owner of three Rotten Cats. You can find her adventures and thoughts on living life deliberately here on the blog.

30 thoughts on “The Fireweed

  1. This is a very poetic piece Lisa. Very cool that you wrote the last lines first. It reminded me of Pat’s comment at Girlie – she read my 6 backwards. Reading yours backwards makes perfect sense!

    1. Thank you! I always take what comes to me first and work from there.
      I just saw Pat’s comment on yours – definitely cool! Very interesting spin that way.

  2. Haunting and sad story, but the fireweed is the hope that comes after. Your words are lyrical and poetic. I like that you could multi-task blog hops.

    1. Thank you, Val. I love that something so beautiful can come from such destruction. Hope is tenacious.
      The multi-task was pure coincidence, but a good one! Smoke…fireweed…just kinda had to go with it. 😀

  3. Quite a sad take on fireweed, but that is just reality. Sometimes fire and nature are not what they seem to be, and so much more powerful than we’ve ever thought. I felt that it’s a write up that reminds us to be humble…that you never know when you will be torched and need some luck on your side. Great writing 🙂

    1. So true, Mabel. We never know what will come our way in life. Fire and nature are so very powerful, but in many ways are both predictable. While we can’t know or control how fire will burn or how nature will grow, we do know that both have certain observable behaviors that are consistent. Cycles are always present. And we can always know that from those sad realities, something new will come. Thanks for reading!

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