The circuits were all overcharged the night that one livewire
crossed another, triggering an electrical fire.
It was approximately midnight when I brutally awoke,
avulsed from bed and blanket by the acrid plumes of smoke.
Reeling from my dreamworld, plunged into reality,
Suffering from vertigo, I attempted to flee.
Gathered in my father’s arms, comforted by his grasping,
I was rushed into the cool night air, coughing, choking, gasping.
Our neighbors gathered all around to comfort and to gape—
to give thanks with our family for our safe escape.
Fire whistles shrilling their approaching welcome scream,
I was jerked awake once more from that childhood dream.
And even though I knew those terrors were all in my head,
I padded down the hallway into my parents’ bed.