Into the Fire

All is quiet but the disheveled stranger
rummaging for salvageables among the debris.
Cars crawl the street, window-eyes popping
and locking on the tortured and sobering scene—
plywood intruding where glass ought to be;
siding twisting out like peels from an onion;
second-floor porch broken, charred on the ground;
scattered, scorched things invading the yard,
fouling a fresh, frigid winter breath.

Neighbors will speak for days
of flames shooting through rifts,
darting and curling like tongues of snakes,
licking walls and flicking smoke
that billows and blackens, and assaults you
till you choke; and the mechanic
from a few houses down, perpetually disgruntled,
perpetually clad in work clothes and grease,
who bullied his way through peril and fear
to drag out the old man, invisible
and nameless to him only moments before.

© 2004 Dennis Ference

6 thoughts on “Into the Fire

  1. Hi Dennis…hard to press “like” on this one. My heart aches for those you speak of…and for you if you were a witness to this destruction. Sending you positive energy ❤

    • I wrote this upon reflecting on the guy who put his own well-being at risk. Seeing tragedies as moments to be redeemed with actions of love, I believe, is part of the vocation of the poet. Always nice sharing thoughts with you. Peace, Lorrie, and thanks always for your positive outlook and energy.

      • Thank you Dennis!! There is something about your writing that goes directly to my heart. Just reading this comment from you brought tears to my eyes. I think your energy comes through very clear to me from your words. I wish we could sit and have a cup of tea together 🙂 Thank you!!

      • With all the blessings of the internet, there are also limitations, a reflection of all of life, I suppose. I have no doubt that much of who we are will continue to be communicated through our posts. Always watching for your next post. Again, peace!

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