A Smothering Love

One day, I ran

into a burning home
where the flames were dancing
like trees, by the wind blown.

The room was like a furnace,
smelting everything within.
Appliances, clumps of molten masses. 
The table glowing and collapsing.

The love seat roared
like a thousand lions,
but not with passion this time.
Curtains evolved into shrouds of death,
while all around me
bulbs were exploding
from the amazing heat.

The wooden floor
a flaming red sea,
melting the very soles of my feet.
Up….. the…… stairs.
The bedrooms were billowing
smoke black and thick.
The rooms like Haedes,
and me……
listening above the crackling
for just one meager, precious sound.

(Come on sound tell me where to go)

I hold my breath,
staving off the attack
from the devilish death of smoke.
Searching the house
is all I know;
all I have to do.
Crawling, running, seeking,
avoiding crumpled embers.
Under children’s beds.
I reach the blackened room,
which was once a happy place. 
Intense heat engulfs me
like the breath of the devil himself
I try to move swiftly
but feel my feet heavy as though stuck to the floor
From under a smoldering mattress
I see a hand outstretched.
My lungs fill
with life depleting smoke.
I take the small hand in mine
and run.
Yet ever so slowly,
I run
Covered in flames
like the Flash,
I run away from the heated grasp of the flames.
My lungs collapsing, in pain and anguish.
At last
We are free.
Free from the pain, the suffering, the intense searing heat
and choking smoke.

I am no Superhero,
but, just a father
someone else’s son.


Graham Bannister is a member of the group “League of Extraordinary Poets “ (LXP) in Barbados, where he also engages as a Spoken Word artist. He has been recognized with a 2012 NIFCA award for his prose.


TamBrann said...

I saw. I felt. I heard. Love this.

Robert Gibson: PWES Editor said...

This is a powerful write. Every time I read it. Great job, Graham :)

Michael May said...

The power of this piece is that it doesn't feel like a fireman did this rescue. It feels like a neighbor/concerned citizen/stranger ran in, because the parent was outside, frozen in fear. It paints an extremely vivid, emotional picture.

Anonymous said...

Extremely well done!

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