Oh Lucky Red Stripes

Posted: October 17, 2012 in Uncategorized
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TV exploded one night

electric flame caught nylon curtains

in arterial surge across

ceiling and wall,

smoke chemical thick

made molasses about the room

crawling under doors,

dad shouted

in lucky red stripes

snatching me from my bed,

mom already on porch roof,

jumping into uneven sprawl,

windows shattered

glitter fragments on the lawn,

sirens loud and quick

sister also free,

just dad and me,

smoke kissed me

crawling into my throat

dad held me close,

he too coughed,

we felt hot

as searing walls made about us,

other voices,

firemen slicks and axes

breaking and smashing

either them or fire,

landing window,

face in illuminated mask looking up

and i was dropped

suspended mid air,

heat reached for me,

strong arms caught

face pressed to chest

we ran,

explosion reverberated through


gas erupted,

i thought of dad and cried

on fender of LaFrance 79

was being assured

warm voices a hand in my hair,

another explosion

as gallons sprayed and poured

it was over now,

and i raise my head

emerging from the smoke

lucky red stripes now smeared

pajamas mom bought he hated,

she said they would be lucky

one day.


  1. Great piece. Having survived a house fire due to a faulty chimney and an apartment fire due to a., neighbor who started the fire, you captured everything perfectly. It took me back to both fires right away. Powerful stuff.

  2. brian miller says:

    dang man…fire is scary stuff…cant imagine the fear felt in that moment…but also the reassurance as well to have your family….an exploding tv too…oh my….

  3. arlenecorwin says:

    Very sweet! And such a memory explained so concisely. Arlene

  4. Oh my. This had my heart racing. Sharp words full of emotion, fear, sacrificial love, sadness–then the ironic ending.

  5. slpmartin says:

    A very engaging story within these lines.

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