“All Fires Are Not Equal” – a poem

Mother 2010
The first of a trilogy of poems written with a focus on my Mother. Though we have many fears, one of the most terrible – for a child, at any rate – found its way into the poem’s ending.

An inevitable loss that dangles its web in front of us all. Whether we see it or not – feel it or not – it’s there. It’s been there all our lives.

“All Fires Are not Equal”

Some glow for days with their red throbs
like the one inside my skull, or measured
in smells of burnt timber, of struck match,
acrid, then sulfur – barrels under the overpass,
late at night, dead of winter, hands stiff and
wishing for anything but what is, or the slick
blaze of oil & smoke choking the bay – still
others with their smokeless loss like my Mother’s
eyes – a flower of clot near her iris is almost gone
now – when she looks into mine, knowing that
months or years or weeks from now she’ll leave
the day to myth its empty sky, and I’ll begin
that slow, numbed forgetting of her face,
the softest dimple of an almost laugh.

      – originally published in Olentangy Review


~ by samofthetenthousandthings on January 26, 2016.

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