Lighting the fire


Each morning I’d get up and make the fire-
a pocket-money job- and yet
one I enjoyed.

The house was still and cold.
A thin, insipid light seeped through the blinds.
I riddled last night’s embers , watched the ash
float down in feathers to the tray below.
That would go out later.

Time to build.

A cube of firelighter, waxy, white
as compressed snow,then scrumpled newspaper
and kindling twigs to give a solid base.
I’d take some shiney nuts of coal and place
them gingerly on the makeshift pyre.

Then light a match.

Six decades later I can hear the hiss
and bubble of the twigs, the crackling coal,
see flames, like flowers bursting into bloom,
as crocus light spills out into the room.


8 thoughts on “Lighting the fire

  1. What wonderful remenisence. I remember doing the same things. Twice I lived in a house that was heated by wood.. I really liked your closing image of the crocus.>KB

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