The Rookie Stopped

Stopped on a stair, breath arrested;
Straining to hear,
Through crackling fire;
Staring to see,
Through face mask and smoke;
Searching for one missing,
Short of air.
Fear clutching legs and heart,
Fear all around,
Freezing action,
Freezing thoughts.
Advance below,
Retreat above.
Risk one’s own life?
Breathe -
Decide.
Step down . . .
To courage.

Wayne Ayling