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A Citys Death By Fire

 After that hot gospeller has levelled all but the churched sky,
I wrote the tale by tallow of a city's death by fire;
Under a candle's eye, that smoked in tears, I
Wanted to tell, in more than wax, of faiths that were snapped like wire.
All day I walked abroad among the rubbled tales, Shocked at each wall that stood on the street like a liar; Loud was the bird-rocked sky, and all the clouds were bales Torn open by looting, and white, in spite of the fire.
By the smoking sea, where Christ walked, I asked, why Should a man wax tears, when his wooden world fails? In town, leaves were paper, but the hills were a flock of faiths; To a boy who walked all day, each leaf was a green breath Rebuilding a love I thought was dead as nails, Blessing the death and the baptism by fire.

by Derek Walcott
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