The night was black
and the grass was cold
and all that stood between the girl
and cold black night
were clouds of smoke, curling in the sky.
Just a volunteer fire department—
or just as likely, there was not,
in the '40's, in the South.
It breathes and it expends and it consumes,
and the girl learns,
there is no time for doing things over that should've been done right;
fire is alive,
and when she sews a button on a shirt
it stays sewn.
The girl comes from a time
when cars are made of Detroit steel,
when things are made to last.
I am her daughter;
I come from a time when cars are made of fiberglass.
I come from a generation
which expends what it consumes
as easily as it breathes.
And I cannot hold a candle to the girl
in the black night,
and the cold grass,
who sees the world turn into smoke
and sews buttons
that stay sewn.