Burning Down the House


it is addressed thusly:
A vision.
it reads:
Roaring down the street the firetruck goes
Snow falls as we watch it pass
Not knowing, alas, where in these snows
Fire burns and smoke billows fast
And snow does not slow or dowse.

A quiet prayer is said, not really knowing
Where going, and whom going to
Go the firemen who rode while it was snowing
Not slowing, but riding fast through
As fast as the raging wheel allows.

The day is gray, and what man-made thing
Sheltering, permits that unbridled flame
Just the same, with each fire-ax swing
Bring fast to cold, to sight, to name
That water which through the fire plows;

Man has in his belly a fire darkly hid
Though cold and dead outside he be
Does in his folly, keep jealously amid
What should be given a word break free--?
But see-- It is burning down the house!

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