Firefighters’ Visit Leads to Fire

1987

In first grade, fighters of fire for the City of Brier
visited my elementary school.
I don’t recall every detail of their visit.
They wore blue.
Let’s say they brought with them a Dalmatian
because that’s what firefighters do at elementary schools
when they’re not burning down.


We were sent home with a list
of numerous items. I recall three:
flashlight, fire extinguisher, and rope ladder.
Nowhere on the list did I see Dalmatian,
though I may have penciled one in.
I brought the list before my parents,
proving how unprepared we were for peril.


Mostly, I wanted a rope ladder from my room
to the front yard. My own entrance
and exit to this story.


That night we ate fire-roasted sweet potatoes
while watching Superman on television.
My mother drew me an insignia in Crayola
and taped it to my chest.
At six, there is no stronger form of protection.
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