Poetry Friday: Remembering 'The Nineteen'

Jun 29, 2018

This week marks five years since 19 Granite Mountain Hotshots were killed fighting the Yarnell Hill Fire. In today’s Poetry Friday segment, KNAU listener Anthony Flesch honors the fallen crew with his poem “The Nineteen.”

One of many memorials to the Granite Mountain Hotshots
Credit prestonm.com

"The Nineteen" by Anthony Flesch

After the nineteen

firefighters

died doing

their hotshot jobs,

the smoke from

the fire that killed them

hung over our town

all day –

smoke from a funeral

pyre.

It was a visual

dirge,

and the urge

to weep was

never far,

rising up into

my throat again, and again

through the day.

I couldn’t stop myself

from trying to

imagine the scene,

and each time

the horror of it

engulfed me.

Let it burn, I say,

let our houses burn,

and our pictures,

and our passports.

Let them all burn

lest we burn more

shining sons. 

Poetry Friday is produced by KNAU’s Gillian Ferris. If you’d like to read a published poem, or submit an original work for consideration, drop an email to Gillian at gillian.ferris@nau.edu.