Strike a match

We struck the match
But can we say struck if it took a year?
Can we say struck if the match traversed lazily – stopping and
starting and
hesitating?
Thinking it had all the time in the world.
Maybe
Maybe we can because it did light a fire.

Maybe it wasn’t a matchstick fire of strike- blaze. It was a crackle at the hearth, lulling you to sleep. It was more yellow than red.
It wasn’t sudden to begin so I hoped it wouldn’t go out too soon. I hoped because we’d built it with such care.

We added tinder and kindling – of pieces of paper boats I’d shown him how to make, and of the twigs of trees we sat under every evening. We stoked the embers. We tiptoed around it. We sang songs in its heat.
I was sure this fire would last all winter.

But then came an untimely monsoon, for I
I fell for a cloud and we rained over our fire-
leaving the hearth bare,
the floor ashen,
the home cold.

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