Other Side of the Hearth – Poem by Mary Beth

by Mary Beth Zeleznik Artz

Wooden pieces of past beyond the hearth of a home, lying flat with the same chipped face.
Wind hisses lament, under sky’s dalliance dome, funneled through flue to relight embers haste.

Fire, sudden, as recall’s breath stirs every air, and assembles the olden town to come to call.
Face down your enemy, memory dares,
Open your eyes, but gone is the light in the hall.

Glowing red reminiscence at the foot of your bed, Were the flames and your burns only a dream?
Show your hands to your face! Reveal pyre’s treads, for things are precisely as they seem.

Watering can on the stone, half full and meant for flowers, Little Thing, stand up, make your way to that site.
Water’s choice, of where to set your bowers, in growth to the living, or in death to a fright.

Stumble through the charge, most known mode of travel, arms outstretched try to block the air.
Step on your own loose threads, gown begins to unravel, bareness, under smoldering remains’ glare.

Fall into the gathered water,
it spills around your feet,
Kick it into the flame of your foe.
Wind gone out of you by remembrance tarted treat, of barefoot splashing puddles from long ago.

Springs spring life, back into your limbs, standing silent in the pond of That old gold day.
Your natural world dampens on anything but whim, your head moves up out of its wilted way.

And though the heat and hue and hour you fought,
listen, for they whistle a song of childhood light.
On the other side of the hearth lies the fire of thought, as cinders like lightning bugs make their flight into the night.

Copyright 2015


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