When he came to our station, so brash and full of fun;
He came to be a fireman, this lad of twenty one.
His face was full and friendly, his heart was brave and true;
He was a worthy member of our trusty fire crew.

He loved to fight the fire, he yearned to man the hose.
This was his heart’s desire, this was the life he chose.
He didn’t work for money, the pay was far too poor;
His joy came from the people he saved from Fire’s maw.

And then one fateful evening, we heard the shrilling bell
that sent us on the fire call that took us close to Hell.
We went to do our duty, without a doubt or fear,
not knowing that this call-out would leave us with a tear.

The house had seen its good times, it stood four stories high
but now its days were numbered, its glories long gone by.
There was no need to hurry, no urgency, no haste;
This house was old and derelict, consigned to be laid waste.

We jumped aboard our platform, began to raise it high,
till we were up above the roof, framed in the evening sky.
He leaned across the guard rail, began to ventilate,
coaxing with axe and ceiling hook, dislodging stubborn slate.

Till arrogant, impatient, full of his reckless youth,
he left the platform’s safety and stepped upon the roof.
The joists were old and weakened, this house had had its day.
Without the slightest warning, the entire roof gave way.

A thousand slates went crashing, down to the basement floor;
Down through a well of fearsome flames, some sixty feet or more.
His eyes were wide in deep surprise, his mouth a rounded “O”
His arms were opened to embrace the fires down below.

He fell through the inferno, his helmet left his head,
and when we found him later, the fireman was dead.
He’d trained to do his duty, and he had passed his test
He entered into manhood, the bravest and the best.

We took him to the Chapel, whispered once more his name.
And then with love and dignity, returned him to the flame.
Thus we restored his honour, and now we know full well
When we ride out to fires, he'll be answering the bell.



Watch these pages for more poems by Tom.
In the meantime, click the links below for
poems and stories by our other authors.

Old and New

Yellow Jacket




Bopper Finds A Lady Friend

Echos Of War


Happiness Is

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© The featured image uses two of TomWYO's (tomWYO@aol.com) photographs.