Atsiylah Atty Garfinkel

The Wildfire - Poem by Atsiylah Atty Garfinkel

The fire crept its way down the hillside.
We stood and watched in horror.
It lapped and danced towards our valley.
Towards the sun the smoke did soar.

We stood on the opposite hillside,
We cried out in painful disbelief.
There went our orchard, and store house.
We prayed for rain to give us relief.

The fire roared and crackled,
It laughed like it was alive.
It grew and it danced along,
Leaving devastation as it did thrive.

We heard the cattle lowing,
And I ran down to the barn.
I opened up all the stall doors
And livestock did run from harm.

The horses ran in confusion,
The cattle ran past the grouse,
The cats and birds got to safety
before the fire reached the house.

All who were old enough ran for shovels,
The young ran for hoses and pail,
We flung dirt and water on that fire
We fought and we dared not fail.

Should our house be consumed,
And should our memories be lost,
Then freely across to our neighbors
That wild fire could unchecked accost.

The children were sent on horseback
To warn all those they could,
And we remained to hold the line
As if evil was challenging good.

We dug and flung with all we had
Until we thought we could fight no more,
Then came our reinforcements,
fresh strength from the farm next-door.

They fought while we rested
And then we fought as one.
And as that wildfire died its death
A new story had begun.

For in our efforts so joined,
And to our mutual benefit,
A new friendship had been formed
And I’m quite pleased with it.

The neighbors were new you see,
They were city born and bred,
But they took to a farming life,
Now with us they’ve sweat and bled.

We doubled the size of our orchard,
And the neighbors now have a cow,
That dumb heifer took to their little girl,
And she to it, I don’t ask how.

They took our advice this spring,
And planted some stone fruit trees,
They have hens in a coop, and grouse,
And they caught a swarm of bees.

My boy is sweet on their girl
And my brother, on their aunt,
They’ve become part of our community,
In an area that doesn’t transplant.

So in a way it was a blessing,
the day the fire came through.
If it hadn't been for our fighting,
we may not be friends so true.

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Poem Submitted: Thursday, July 3, 2008

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