Two Poems by Gene Fehler

when our attic fan, which kept cool
boxes filled with yesterday,

heat pushed its way through the tiniest
of cracks until the whole

ballooned with hot air, burst into flame,
sending us outside

we stood half-naked, caught between
the burning of a lifetime's

and the search for an uncertain future
in a house with no

New Breath

On the porch, long after firefly flickers died
in a sudden summer midnight shower, she held
her breath and watched for headlights. Time
for breathing would come again, after sirens,
after questions, after the house had been cleared,
cleaned. In time, breaths would sing in a gentle
fearless rhythm, a far cry from the harsh, panicked
half-breaths of the past six years of waiting, begging,
warding off threats. Headlights would come and go
with the rain, and then fireflies could beam
again their summer light, would open up long-forgotten
doors to childhood delights, to romantic dreams.
Behind her, the house stayed silent. She sat stiffly
on the porch and waited for her chance to breathe.

Gene Fehler