the day ended
with Alice’s Cheshire cat
staring down – grin wide
on this place
that wasn’t Wonderland

clouds aflame
sun’s fire licking them
so longingly
their edges crinkled black

crickets on the ground
fireflies stuck to the tent
slowly folding over us

a cackling howl
mischievous compassion
for we cannot join
we left so long ago

not Wonderland
but maybe
therein lies our mistake

And the sun still set, anyway.