When Toni Doherty, a grandmother of seven,
took the shirt off her back, bundling your sweet body away from the flames
amid the crackles of my faith, a tide of relief, for a moment
washed away in sea of viral video memento, a montage of everyday heroes
like Toni, who at the end, like so many of us, didn’t want to see
another innocent creature burn. I know you lost so much
Ellenborough, When I read the news of the day
When they put you to sleep, I knew my nights would leave me sleepless.
In the poem, For Lewis this was written based on the same week of last Sumatran rhino went extinct in Malaysia, was the same week of the Australian Brushfires where many, many, many Koala habitats were lost as well. One of the most intense days a local, while evacuating rescued a koala who was caught in the flames. She named the Koala after one of her grandsons, as Ellenborough Lewis. Unfortunately, a day or two later personnel at a nearby animal hospital had to have him euthanized due to the excessive worsening of his burns would only have him living in prolonged suffering.
J.B. Stone/Jared Benjamin is a neurodivergent slam poet, writer and reviewer from Brooklyn, now residing in Buffalo. He is the author of the micro chap, A Place Between Expired Dreams And Renewed Nightmares (Ghost City Press 2018). His work has in or forthcoming in PANK, Five :2: One Magazine, Crack the Spine, YES Poetry, Riggwelter, Maudlin House, and elsewhere. He is the Reviews Editor at Coffin Bell Journal and the Founding Editor at Variety Pack. You can always check out more of his work at jaredbenjaminstone.com. He tweets @JB_StoneTruth