Monday, July 23, 2012

In Case of Fire

There has been so much fire in the news this summer:  Colorado (near my brother's home) and locally from stray fireworks.  I think fire is on the top of most people's list of fearful things because of the physical and emotional pain and loss.  I admire people (like my brother-in-law, a fire chief) who choose to face the horror of fire to help others get out safely. 

However, this poem is not intended as a tribute to firefighters or to share about grief.  Rather, it speaks about the loss of material things and deciding what is the most important. 

In Case of Fire by Janet Sobczyk, 2012ⓒ

Picture this...
your house is on fire
you're the last one out.
The spouse, kids, and pets
are outside and safe.
What will you take as
you dash out the door?

A purse or wallet?
A coat and some shoes?
The photo albums?
Laptop computer?
An I-Pad or phone?
A box of jewelry?
A priceless heirloom? 
An old sports trophy?

I know what I'd take.
My prized possession
is a special gift
the children gave us
for our twenty-fifth
It's a published book
of precious photos
and letters from each
of our five children.
When I first saw it
it brought me to tears.
We showed it proudly
to fam'ly and friends.

Where should I keep it?
Where would it be safe
and handy to grab
to dash out the door?
Nearest the front door?
Nearest the back door?
Near the garage door?
Which way would I leave?

There's no way to guess,
I should face the facts.
No earthly treasures
are ever quite safe
from a fire or flood
or a tornado.
Every manmade thing
can break or rust or
be lost or destroyed.
I finally see
the safest treasure
is stored up above
in heaven with God.

I dedicate this to my five children, who are truly my greatest treasures, with a special thanks to Carolyn for creating the gift book which inspired this poem.  :) 


Janet said...

I was talking with my daughter about this poem and said that a firefighter would respond, "Don't take anything, just get out!" But she told me she has seen a website where people post what they would take in just such an emergency, which made me feel like this poem does speak to most people and our affection for material things.

Carolyn said...

Here's the website I was talking about:

Janet said...

Thanks, dear! I will check it out!