Within the fear of fire was the
fear horses would burn
in those scenes with the barn
ablaze and they couldn’t save them.
The ocean is fireproof. Any wave
below me could smother
the smallest spark, help bells
ready to dong in the channel.
No horses, no running, nothing
with long legs to be seen.
Then I hear diesels and hoofbeats.
Something is going up
over the horizon in a big way,
the wind moving to see it
taking the buoy’s long warnings.
Then footprints start on water
from the offshore breeze. Cloud
smoke layers at the edge
of the shadow of the fear of
everything in sight catching
and each diesel leaving the slips
in this early light is a fireboat.
I see yesterday burns up and
today is burning down,
that everyday fear runs from the
actual, each morning a fire drill.
Each boat rescued. Each piston
escaping hoofbeats on a bridge.