The fire is coming on red horses with gold manes,
you can hear them eating the plain.
The swollen rivers tumble burning houses
down their channels: we flame or drown.
The wind snatches off roofs, spins them like scythes,
hurls cars through the air, mixes the water and fire.
We choke on the smoke, beckon God or curse him.
The earth is blackened. I’ve heard the moon
has begun to wobble again; the tides deranged.
All our petty bickering burned, buried, lost in the roar.
Doug Anderson reads his poem “Night Ambush”
Doug Anderson grew up in Memphis, Tenn. He served as a combat medic in the Vietnam War, and after Vietnam attended the University of Arizona, where he studied acting. He started writing poetry after he moved to Northampton, Mass.