IN THE HEYDAYS OF HIS EYES
(taut jeans dancing)

An Anthology of Poetry about Being Young and Growing Up
 
 
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A FIRE STORY

Lake George, 1984

Joseph Bruchac

There was just no time to call for help out there, over the hill from the main blaze where he had followed the evening flight of a spark that might start it all over, keep burning for days. As it got darker, he circled the fire, fighting it by its own light, first from the truck, then into the brush with the one-man tank strapped onto his back. Feet crunching the char, he kept spraying the edges, sparks searing his face rising up to make stars. He kept circling in until all was dark, as his feet extinguished one final spark. That was when he realized he was lost, without a flashlight, no moon in the sky and all around him the big woods quiet after the crack and whisper of flame. He knew then that trouble is a kind of a marker. When it's gone, you can't always be sure where you are. Sometimes, when it's over, all you can do is just sit in the ashes and wait for the sun.

 
 
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