Burning Building

January Web Feature by Hailey Gore

Hailey Gore received her bachelor’s degrees in Psychology and criminal justice from ENMU. She is now a graduate student obtaining her master’s degree in counseling. After Easter, Hailey hopes to obtain a doctoral degree in psychology and a law degree. Hailey has no formal training in poetic writing, but she finds that poetry is a way of personifying feeling. Hailey’s passion and interest in the field of psychology is what created her love for poetry and writing.

Burning Building by Hailey Gore

Don’t be a hero

If the building is burning down

Do not run inside

Wait until the fire trucks arrive

Don’t be the hero

He repeats

In a room full of people

But he’s looking at me

When the building went up in flames

I was the first to run back inside

They were the fire

Seeping anger into every corner

Making me fear for my life

The smoke was their words

Infiltrating my lungs

Each breath a new struggle

The crumbling building was me

I ran through my own burning skeleton

Trying to save people

Who had already made it out alive

Don’t be a hero

His words echo in my mind

The firetrucks never arrived

Published by

El Portal

Eastern New Mexico University’s literary magazine, El Portal, offers a venue for the work of writers, artists and photographers. ENMU students, national, and international writers are welcome to submit their original, previously unpublished short stories, plays, poetry and photography. No entry fees are charged. Cash prizes are awarded to first-, second- and third-place winners in each category (only ENMU students qualify). El Portal is published each semester at Eastern thanks to Dr. Jack Williamson, a world-renowned science fiction writer and professor emeritus at ENMU who underwrote the publication. El Portal has been published since 1939.