Saturday, April 6, 2013 | By: Brianna

I'm on Fire!

My very first poetry professor said that if you're ever stuck and you can't think of something to write, consult your "materials."  Typically, this is your childhood.  I was thinking about that earlier today because on my way home from a spectacular amateur comedy show, I was talking to my friend about how I used to hang out in a fire house when I was little.  My grandpa was a fireman, and my dad used to take me and my brother over there to visit with him while he was on duty.  It was pretty neat, and weird because I hadn't remembered that that was a thing until last night when I said, "Oh right, I did that..."  It's strange to me that you can forget that you remember things and then you re-remember them.  Anyway, so that's where today's poem came from.  It's more of a collection of some of the memories that I was thinking of, but it could be refined and used.

And I didn't even talk about Barney or Striker, the dogs in the fire house!  I don't think I knew Barney, but I swear Striker was pretty old when I met him.  Or maybe he was just a really laid back dog.  He was not, however, a Dalmatian.  Fun fact.

Also random note, I woke up and have random lyrics stuck in my head.  Not a whole song, just the same lines over and over: "There'll be times you might leap before you look, there'll be times you like the cover and that's precisely why you'll love the book."  Thank you, Ben Folds Five, for "Do It Anyway."

April 6, 2013

I sat on the lap
of a firefighter I didn't know
in the front seat
of Engine 124,
my 8-year old hand curled
around the cord
for the air horn.
Once tugged, the red monster
released a mighty bellow.

I remember eating popsicles
while I learned to play Solitaire
on the only computer
in the fire house.
Sometimes the popsicles were good,
other times the dye
tasted like chemicals
but I ate it anyway.

Dad never let us slide
down the fire pole
from the hole in the ceiling,
instead, he lifted us
over his head
and let us drop from his height.
So he could catch us
if we lost our grip.

"The funny thing about firemen is, night and day, they are always firemen."
- Gregory Widen, "Backdraft"


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