Fire Man

By Eric Greinke

When I see my old friend Bob

I always think of fire.  It’s not

just his red hair & beard.  It’s

something more.  He built

his first home on the ashes

of an old farmhouse that

he burned down.  I’ve seen him

start a bonfire in the middle

of a frozen lake, with nothing

but dead leaves, wet branches,

and a frail BIC lighter.

Now he lives alone with five cats

in a small cabin in the woods

that he heats with wood.

Firewood is stacked up all around it,

just waiting for a flame.

He doesn’t have electricity, or

watch television.  But

every night, when the woods

gets dark, & the coyotes howl,

Bob lights a fire.  He sits there

until the embers glow, often

in the company of refugees.



Eric Greinke has been active on the literary scene for fifty years as a poet, publisher of over one hundred of his peers, collaborator with other poets, book reviewer and essayist.  In between, he wrote a fishing book, a funny service novel and a book that solves all the problems in the world.  He is a Contributing Writer for the Schuylkill Valley Journal and has new work coming in Cape Rock Poetry, Freshwater Journal, Gargoyle, Lake Effect, Lilipoh, Paterson Literary Review, Plainsongs and Trajectory.    New book: Masterplan – Collaborative Poems (with Alison Stone).

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