Richard Wilbur

(March 1, 1921)

A Fire-Truck


Right down the shocked street with a
siren-blast
That sends all else skittering to the
curb,
Redness, brass, ladders and hats hurl
past,
Blurring to sheer verb,

Shift at the corner into uproarious gear
And make it around the turn in a squall
of traction,
The headlong bell maintaining sure and
clear,
Thought is degraded action!

Beautiful, heavy, unweary, loud,
obvious thing!
I stand here purged of nuance, my
mind a blank.
All I was brooding upon has taken
wing,
And I have you to thank.

As you howl beyond hearing I carry you
into my mind,
Ladders and brass and all, there to
admire
Your phoenix-red simplicity, enshrined
In that not extinguished fire.



Submitted by Robert Fish

Submitted: Monday, January 13, 2003

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