Wednesday, April 2, 2014

"Out of the Fire"

Delighted my poem "Out of the Fire" (based on footage of a construction worker surviving a massive Texas fire) was featured on Poetry24! Cheers!

Here it is:

"Out of the Fire"

The edge of our seats frizzle,
the screams stick to smoke in our throats.

We watch the man on the ledge
with electric-flames exploding
the doorframe behind him.

The heat on the backs of our necks-
there is no alternative; he jumps.
five stories midair, the world
a movie stunt – he lands.

But four stories stand
between death and life
and the ladder just
doesn’t reach.
He must let go again.

And when he does,
so do the flames.
Fireballs burst through steel, walls,
windows of hell shattering.

We squint through the haze, wordless
prayers reflected and answered.

After the wave, we see that
he made it, clutching to the
ladder’s strength which
by nature will never match his own.

We gather glasses of water
and thank god the TV is only
partially sensory.

He lives.


See the following sites for the news story: ;


Brian Miller said...

geez that was like an action movie...intense....and i bet a bit scary in the moment making that leap but what choice do you have...

hedgewitch said...

Very immersive, with its sense of awestruck horror immediate and real--a difficult writing task, I think, to convey that without excess, and very well done here. I especially loved 'windows of hell shattering...' and 'clutching to the
ladder’s strength which
by nature will never match his own...' Congrats on sharing it with a wider audience.