There was a boy who lived a few doors down
in the smaller one with red brick
and a faded yellow door.
His laugh rang out like gunshots
the day he tried to set
that wooden barrier on fire.
When the fire truck came with its
sirens blaring he tried to open it
get inside the flaming cinders and hide.
And we had to call for a second
ambulance to get him out of
that burning hellhole.
I saw him three years ago
buying something from the deli
his face was worn and weathered
and I could see the burn marks on his hands.