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.