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          Death of a Fireman
          By Brad Buchanan

          The oldest fireman adjusts his gaze
          to the scale of incomprehensible skies
          which have produced, after fifty years,
          the farthest-fetched of emergencies.

          The retirement gifts and the accolades
          for sedentary virtues refuse
          to go on without proof of age's
          recklessness. He has recognized

          the proper time and place of his death,
          the suitable scrap heap for his used
          ambitions, the last stand of self-worth--
          two crowded towers about to be razed.

          His visor protects him from this vision,
          and tumbling wreckage renders it moot.
          His body is one of the first the mission
          of rescuers finds. He is never found out.

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Document last modified on: 04/02/2006

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