Fighting Fire

I quaked in trembling place on fearful feet
while flames licked limpid grass without remorse
and curled the stolid shrubs. Their vicious growls
undid the timid world while robins raced
into the distant space. A sickened rush
of heat hung in the glowing, smoky air.
A raging, lashing black-and-orange wall
spoke primal names from deep within its maw.

The other kids retreated fleetly while
their cake-stained dawdling hands hung at their sides.
I stayed on smoking grass despite the shapes
grown murky in the garish glare. I weighed
a dolphin water pistol in my hand
and focused aim for all its useless good.
I stood my stubborn ground and spouted forth
my futile flood of water at the blaze.

There’s worse I could have done than be the one
who feebly fights the sweeping state of things
and walks their dark domain without a pause.
The ruthless flames do not respect someone
who shrinks to safe terrain when brought to face
the flaying campaign seeking to destroy.
I fight the fires with my fragile gift
of blithe resistance to the heated din.

David Reuter

David Reuter has been published in The Cape Rock, Courtship of Winds, El Portal, Existere Journal, The Literatus, Neologism Poetry Journal, Pennsylvania Literary Journal, Perceptions Magazine, Sandpiper, Sanskrit Literary-Arts Magazine, Visitant, and Vox Poetica. He has attended William Paterson University’s Writer’s Conference in 2018 and the Rutgers Writers’ Conferences.