Wednesday, January 8, 2014



Never thought heat could freeze me,
but warmth doesn't always soothe
when it's hungry, turned to flames,
angry to engulf all in its way.

So I stood, motionless
watching deadly dance
of men jumping rooftops
to fight fire with fire
of their own passion.
Within them, a firewall
made fear impossible.
Within me a gratitude surreal
flickered a little understanding
of courage, its blindness

It wasn't me they rescued that day,
yet I felt I'd been saved.

(Submitted to Poetry Jam.)

When I saw the prompt, this memory came to me.  My office in the South Bronx, N.Y. was higher and across the street from two buildings that had caught fire.  I was mesmerized, as were my co-workers.  We could feel the heat through the windows and see the power of the flames.

The firefighters were relentless and so brave.  This elevated the respect I already had for them.  Luckily, no one was hurt.


  1. Mirror neurons - we are made to feel for each other, as you well express here :-)

    ALOHA from Honolulu
    Comfort Spiral
    > < } } ( ° >

  2. Scary line of work, that of a firefighter.

  3. wow getting to watch them at work...had to get the heart pumping....and i bet you felt relief too when they succeeded...truly firemen inspire me...smiles.

  4. They are heroic every single day. Good poem, Myrna. I lost my little store on the ocean to fire, with all my worldly possessions. It was our home and our livelihood when the kids were small. And I didnt get any insurance money - big corporations know how to Not Pay when they have a young fool who knows nothing to deal with. I didnt see the fire, as I was at my mom's. It was devastating but the main thing was we were all alive, it didnt happen when we were inside so I was grateful for that.

  5. excellent, very powerful and an amazing picture of courage and fearlessness.

  6. Such inspirational and just plain hard work. They have my heartfelt respect.
    And I loved your poem too.

  7. You have made the experience come alive in this poem, Myrna. I can feel the HEAT in this poem and how the experience would 'freeze' you as you watched the firefighters. They are such brave men, aren't they?

  8. oh wow... i can imagine what an impact that must have had on you... the feeling saved yourself.. i'm amazed at how brave they are...never seen them that close fighting a fire yet...

  9. How brave of those firemen to fight fire ~ I too will be frozen and motionless in my spot ~ I have seen houses burning from afar near our home and it terrifies me to death ~ Good one Myrna ~

  10. What a life-changing experience. I went through the same thing in college when our apartment building burned. Luckily, my unit only had smoke damage, but still, it's scary.

  11. Overwhelming ... I have witnessed several fires in my life. Your poem beautifully describes the emotions I experienced.

  12. Great first two lines! Must have been so scary to have been so close to the fire that you could feel the heat!

  13. Heart stopping. isn't it? To think that there are people that feel the overwhelming urge to get that close and intimate with raging fire is just amazing to me. I have great respect for their courage and knowledge ... good write!

  14. What an amazing scene to see--one does wonder how they do it. Raging fire is a scary thing.

  15. Your poem helps me appreciate their effort. Thank you!

  16. Sounds like a scary situation. Glad you were safe.

  17. An intense memory that anyone who has been through the trauma of a housefire can identify with...