Home > Journaling the Apocalypse > The Fire Department Tells Us to Plan for Evacuation

The Fire Department Tells Us to Plan for Evacuation

December 19, 2008

As the wall of fire comes my way, I’ll grab a long look
at plants I grew from starters, twigs I propagated into blooms.

I’ll listen for the music of the living room when the ceiling drummed
and we danced to Van Morrison in our empty space.

I will take the wrinkles and rumples of life happening,
the worn parts of the sheets and the towels.

I will take the smells of the sea blowing through,
while our showers ran down the drain, and our hair shampooed.

I will take the building’s noises, pipes full of water and creaking steps,
and glowing red dots on electronic devices.

On my way out, I will take you arriving at the door for me,
take you ringing the doorbell with flowers for me.

On the way out, I will take my willingness to leave all this behind.
I will run naked into my next life.

by Janet A. Baker

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  1. December 19, 2008 at 11:26 am

    Oh. What a magnificent poem. I’m staggered.

  2. Ivy
    December 19, 2008 at 12:37 pm

    Simply awesome.

  3. jean aldriedge
    December 19, 2008 at 9:16 pm

    I like this poem. It’s words are rhymthic like music. It’s images are subtle in range from soft (flowers) to harsh (fire department). I’ll re-read this one. Thanks.

  4. oriana
    December 21, 2008 at 12:39 pm

    Magnificent. A very imaginative approach to “what to take with you” — sheer poetry that marries the magic of a superb underlying idea with precise, wonderful language.

  5. Rebecca and John
    December 25, 2008 at 3:28 pm

    Dear Janet,
    We love to see this poem published and we join you, running naked into our next life.
    Love and look forward to seeing you at the Poetry Community Meeting in 2009!
    Happy New Year,
    Rebecca and John

  6. Jackleen
    December 26, 2008 at 3:47 pm


  7. December 31, 2008 at 9:16 pm

    I find this witty, and gorgeous. The title did a great job catching my attention, and then I wasn’t disappointed at all.

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