Man in Flames

The man has been
burned out of his
clothes, out of
the wheat field he
was trying to save
when the wind turned
the flames that outflanked
and overran him.
Now he is trying
to save himself,
running out of and away
from the fire. “Hurry,
this way!” we call
from over here,
safe in the frying pan.

About the Poem

The climate crisis is making itself felt all over the world. Last week, Europe was especially hard hit by heat waves and wildfires. The footage of a man in Spain running out of fire seemed to capture the essence of the danger and emergency facing all of us.

About the Author

Matthew Murrey’s poems have appeared widely, recently in Topical Poetry, Autofocus, and Under a Warm Green Linden. He’s an NEA Fellowship recipient, and his debut collection, Bulletproof, was published in 2019 by Jacar Press. He’s now a retired public school librarian and lives in Urbana, Illinois with his partner; they have two grown sons. His website is and he is on Twitter @mytwords.

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