Do you fear the fire

Walking through the woods
my mother spoke of fire–
of course I had noticed it
a lack of green, and the scent
of the foray of pitiless flames
in a matter of months
and the ashes beneath our feet

Was it a dream? Perhaps–
upon opening my eyes
seeing her feet, immaculate
walking amongst the flames
in a frantic dance for life–
and afterward, the renovation–
her attempt to cover it up
with a smile and a flower

Overjoyed to see something
colorful and blooming
my jaw went slack, while the flower fell
from where she had taped it
to the scorched vine, fooling me
with the comfort of red petals
amongst the endless black.
‘But black is your color.’

Black had been the color
of cool and calm, during a time
when I could not settle myself–
tailor-made for me, the crisp lines
of white cotton over black silk
were enough to blur the vision
of soot smudges
on her cheek and forehead

I had not been there for her.
I wanted to stay.

And, bending to grab at the rose
I moved too quickly
a thorn piercing my finger–
‘You have blood on your
shirt”, she said
‘you have work still to be done–
wake up.’

____
(redux)
for my mother, 1940-1997

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11 thoughts on “Do you fear the fire

    1. Thank you. I have been working on it since 2015. Maybe it is done now.
      Mom had cancer that was very advanced, and was only 56 when she died. I was thinking about a conversation we might have had about what she’d been through–that we never had.

      Liked by 2 people

  1. I could fold this up and put it in my wallet to pull out and read when I need inspiration, or a reminder of how powerful words are when written from emotion. Well done; I’m tempted to say this is my favorite from you.

    Like

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