Angry blue-red flames
retreated from first responders.
Before their last sputter of sparks
turned to ash rose the nurturing
breast of Auburn.
Her gigantic arm of support
circled those who lost everything.
Some didn’t even have coats to
fight off the bitter noon cold.
Artifacts, heirlooms, precious
photos, irreplaceable life treasures
gone as if smoked by a huge cigar.
Easy to see how despair would
squash hope for a better tomorrow.
And then the miracle, a modern day
Neighbors all over Auburn came
forward bringing donations
of every sort.
But most of all they planted a
rebirth of hope, a new kind of flame,
in the hearts of those who once lived
in the historic Heritage House.
– Gerald A. McBreen