Staten Island FDNY retirees patch FDNY Logo with retired label


A Poem

A Poem by Lt. Robert Higgins.. F.D.N.Y.

The Call of the Guardian

I rise as a guardian of the night and see the light of the fire.

I race through the streets of the sleeping city toward a beckoning fervent beast waiting In Malevolent flames.

I arrive and my heart is seized by the swiftness of the fury and the anguish.

The fire breaches the darkness with a light both savage and sublime, as fiery fingers reach and scratch at the blackening sky.

I push out the borders of fear away with the voices of doubt.

With ladder and line and a fervid heart with purpose and push, I force myself into a voracious red wind.

I dive forward into darkness beneath the erupting ash and give myself to the infinite void; Into halls black with death and red with rage.

I reach with a desperate hand across the narrowing divide between the dying and the dead and take from there what that red beast can never claim.

I carry my fallen brethren into the awaiting arms of Hope.

I lay the lifeless ones down,... surrendering them to God and wonder of His Way..

I stand upon the smoldering remnants of evil's effort both victor and vanquished, as the soot and the steam rise around me like the vestiges of a breath long expelled.

I am weary of body and never far from death but life is my calling and I hearken to its voice everywhere, never to leave unheard the cries of the daunted and the desperate.

I stand steely tall along the sad blue line as those who gave with greater love pass highly by, below the echoes of melancholy strains.

I return through the haze of a city dawn and ride through the days.

And tomorrow I will stand this watch, ever aware, ever vigilant, waiting for a distant toll to call me.

O,I ride as a guardian of the night, toward the far away glow of my destiny, dauntless, duty bound, endeavoring to a life fully-lived within the grasp of mortality.

And when my watch is over; when my tour is ended and I am finally called home to the embrace of my gentle guardian, I will ride again.

Racing through the heavens, oh so swiftly for I will ride there in glory with angels escort aboard a screaming red chariot of honor.