The sun was an inflamed blister
in a feverish glowing sky.
The trees tossed deliriously, writhing
and twisting, rattling dry, rasping sighs,
then suddenly falling completely still,
as if surrendering to some inexorable will.

Nature was a flaming violence,
lashing at an invisible fence,
subdued but not tamed by the asphalt streets,
or the monuments of concrete and glass.

People stopped asking, 'How did it start? '
and instead asked, 'Lord, how long will it last? '
The firestorm gasped, the firestorm hissed.
It brushed the trees with a deadly kiss;
then it hurled its hot breath of rage
at man's fragile crystal cage.

The firestorm blackened.
The firestorm seared.
The firestorm belched Hell from its maw,
and a city was awed!

by Mary Naylor

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