A fire truck


Right down the shocked street with a siren-blast

that sends all else skittering to the curb,

redness, brass, ladders and hats hurl past,

blurring to sheer verb,


shift at the corner into uproarious gear

and make it around the turn in a squall of traction,

the headlong bell maintaining sure and clear,

thought is degraded action!


Beatiful, heavy, unweary, loud, obvious thing!

I stand here purged of nuance, my mind a blank.

All I was brooding upon has taken wing,

and I have you to thank.


As you howl beyond hearing I carry you into my mind,

ladders and brass and all, here to admire

your phoenix-red simplicity, enshrined

in that not extinguished fire.

Richard Wilbur. USA (1921-2017)

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