by Eric Pinder

The old stone chimney exhales
reassurances when a match
in a shivering hand
Frankensteins the fire to life.

Flames flail happily, like baby arms
reaching up toward camaraderie. A language
of snaps and clicks enjoins the gathering
of cold shoulders to communicate.
Come closer. Hello.

By evening the fire’s elocution
is decipherable by all, and the flames,
now shortened by age, bequeath
the promise of sweet dreams
and finality. Sparks ride convection
upward. The blunted fire, clinging to life,
throws shooting stars
back at the sky.