Does it matter how the flames began
to creep about and up the stairs?
A mansion on the Waterfront
with seven people sleeping there.
A scaffold on the Second floor
signified that restoration had begun.
An Ember carelessly discarded
burst forth to threaten both old and young.
When firefighters approached the scene
They saw the mother attempt to save
her children on the second floor.
but tongues of fire drove her away.
Her contractor had likewise tried
to save the girls who slept upstairs.
He had two nearly in his grasp
when they both panicked and ran away.
The girls’ grandfather came the closest
to saving one granddaughter dear
He brought her to a window seat
and tried to get her in the clear
but choking smoke and his weakened heart
brought his attempt to end in tears.
A mother weeps, uncomprehending,
as water hoses douse the flames.
Both her parents and her children dead,
and her home a smoking, ruined frame..
Sophocles, the attic poet
called man a thing of “breath and shadow “.
Too long a life can be a curse
A life too short, a cause for sorrow