Fire Stories By Taylor Graham


A gibbous moon goes hunching up the western
sky. Its fire is ash – the fire I saw flashing
across our dry swale this late afternoon. Pink-
orange-crimson flame bursting its globe,
ready to explode as I shifted position
at the window for a better view. I rushed out –
but it just the blood-sun setting through smoke,
reflected in our truck’s window. Not wildfire.
We’re all edgy. Our state is burning.
Your son risked his life, not to mention arrest,
going back to an evacuated part of town;
driving past flames. He stopped his truck
between fire and flame-tossed embers, propane
tanks exploding, to rescue two dogs a friend
had to leave behind. My dad would do it,
he said. I’ll find a way. Those dogs are safe.
For the moment, we’re all safe. The next fire’s
about to get set somewhere.

By Taylor Graham


Taylor Graham is a volunteer search-and-rescue dog handler in the Sierra Nevada, and served as El Dorado County’s inaugural poet laureate (2016-2018). In addition to The Rising Phoenix Review, she’s included in the anthologies Villanelles (Everyman’s Library) and California Poetry: From the Gold Rush to the Present (Santa Clara University). Her latest book is Uplift (Cold River Press, 2016).

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