Battling the beast

Wearing blue coveralls, they sit sometime for days,

Laughing, eating, joking… waiting for one sound

A siren that transform them

They abandon their armchairs for overcoats

Of canvas and for rubber boots

Their armor heavy and hot

Instead of trading jokes they relay directions, And orders, and shout

Reports of the status of the enemy—

Flames are visible

Fear and excitement grip the hearts

Of the freshest rookie to the oldest veteran

As they jump into their steel Trojan horses

Perfect from polishing, washing checking over and over—

They pray that they have made no mistakes.

The driver navigates, The craft through the city streets

He knows as well as his family,

Dodging when possible those that get in the way,

Hoping those he can’t avoid will see him first,

They spot the enemy from blocks away

The phoenix rises far above the trees licking the sky

They arrive at the scene, and again the battle cry is heard

Flames are visible

Smoke fills the air and their lungs

As they approach, hoses snaking, crisscrossing

Coming to life as they surge with water from yellow and hydrants

That suddenly become grotesque heads of medusa.

They kick open the doors

Rubber from their boots leaving a print

Melted by the heat, and trickling over bubbling paint

Orange liquid flames roll through the building

Slithering up and over the walls,

Breathing in and out with each puff of air

With swords of water they charge and the war begins

They battle –nine or ten against one

Seemingly great odds

But the nine soldiers will win

Emerging from the battlefield victorious

As they always do, and eventually

They’ll retire to their armchairs

Thanking god that this time nobody

Was hit by the enemy fire

         ~Unknown author~