The fire is out

13 Apr

Jasper rubbed his bear-like paws
and paused to look and examine them;
worn and cracked, lines etched with dirt,
nails rimmed with grime and blackened,
they smelled of sweat and strife and work
however scrubbed and fragranced —
no way to lessen the toils of time,
no way to soften healed-over life —
he wiped them on his denim pants,
and sensed the trace of gasoline
still lingering on his fingers.

He never meant to go this far;
an avalanche is hard to halt —
one word leads to others, till
there is no way, nor little will
to redirect or to deflect
the gathering momentum.

And when there was no room to voice,
so cornered, with no other choice
he resolutely bowed his head,
acknowledging the deep dark dread
that led him to this moment.

In the bird-songed early morn,
he heard the sirens, so forlorn,
lilting from a rural distance,
becoming louder with insistence
Wailing assistance was on the way.

But,
too late the clarion horns did play
as embers glowed in dawning day
and Jasper watched life burn away —
its greasy smoke lift high.

With one last sigh he rubbed his hands,
and wiped them on his denim pants,
and sat to wait his forgone fate
approaching by the moment.

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