Bells sound them from sleep, and their imaginations
by Claudia Emerson
rise, recite all they have been told: the curtains
of fire, the beds, nightgowns, their hair, their hair.
They've practiced this escape before
and know to close the windows last, descend
the darkened flights of stairs in practiced wordlessness
to line up, barefoot, on the dew-wet lawn,
face the building, pretend to watch it burn.