Monday January Seventh: Headline
The first fire that made the paper
consumed Old Man Shively’s
The town council sighed in relief
and passed new zoning laws
prohibiting such trash inside the limits.
Dressed in overalls and slippers
Shively sat in a folding lawn chair
where his living room had been and stared
towards a sky he’d ignored for years.
He was already drunk. No one thought
to ask who had left a case of Pabst
under the charred sweet gum
or thought to wipe the one empty can,
tucked in the crook, for prints.
The newspaperman wrote:
Electrical Fire stuns Resident
and ran the picture, a toothless widower
with arms as thin as tinder.