By Jessica Bortman

A pair of andirons
flanking the door
might have served
as a warning—

literal and blunt,
to say the whole house
was a fire box,
a place of cinders.

Or the meteor, a livid flame
that blistered across the sky
long enough to wish upon
had I not been so amazed,

might have implied
a pyric calamity
if I were given
to reading signs.

as it is
I am not.

I thought them
only coincidental
to the brush
the heat and the wind

and so we moved in
and spread our books around
and laid down our bed
and for one week

we lived there,
oblivious to the augury
of iron and stars
and even common sense.

Only in the last hour
a blaring incendiary wind
kindled sign and sense
in me

and flared to the foretold and inevitable.
So that when the fire came
I had always known
it would.

Jessica Bortman is an artist, writer, and business storytelling coach.