Fire Drill
Poem by Claudia Emerson • Photo by Louise Kumpf

Bells sound them from sleep, and their imaginations
rise, recite all they have been told: the curtains 
on fire, the beds, nightgowns, their hair, their hair.
They’ve practiced this escape before 
and know to close the windows last, descend
the darkened flights of stairs in perfect wordlessness 
to line up, barefoot, on the dew-wet lawn,
face the building, pretend to watch it burn.

Previously published in The Greensboro Review.

Back   •   Home   •   Next