Firetraps, by Rose Drew

I am not a silent poet

I: 1983
My substandard housing
was ground floor.
The fire alarms failed,
but I ran out into the rain.

II: 2001, 2017
That infamous September,
the summer before Daesh:
No,
those weren’t birds swooping, plunging.
We squinted at TVs, as people felt the flames,
held hands,
stepped off.

Is it fair to compare terror to terror
as homes deemed safe enflame
the eyesore hiding cladding
now your casket,
a crematorium delivered to your door;
an inferno you didn’t sign up for
when you inked the lease —

III: 1911, 2017
A hundred years ago,
the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire
was all girls and women
from browner countries.
………………………….[No sprinklers, one staircase,
——————-………….fire ladders & hoses falling short.
…………………………..Laws were passed. Even New York’s wealth
…………………………..were horrified.]
This tower also single mums, entire families,
brave migrants starting again with a bag
of hopes.
The fortunate flee
without even…

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