Do you fear the fire

(2015)

For Mom

Walking through the woods
you spoke of fire.
Of course I had noticed it
the lack of green
the scent of the foray
of pitiless flames
and the ash beneath our feet.

A dream, perhaps, upon
opening my eyes and
seeing your feet again
walking amongst the flames
a frantic dance for life
and after, the renovation
your attempt to cover it up
with a smile and a flower.

I was so happy to see something
colorful, blooming, my jaw
went slack – when the flower fell
from where you had taped it
to the scorched vine.
Yes, you fooled me
this little comfort of red petals
among the endless black.
“But black is your color.”

Black was the color of cool,
and calm in a time when I
could not settle myself. Tailor-made
for me, the crisp lines of black silk
and white cotton was enough
to blur the smudges of
soot on your cheek and forehead.

I was not there for you.

Here, let me.
And grabbing at the rose, I
moved too quickly, the thorn
piercing my finger
a reminder to wake up.
“You have blood on your
shirt”, you said, “wake up.”
There is work still to be done.

3 thoughts on “Do you fear the fire

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