Lighting Matches

4 Oct


In honor of National Poetry Day—in England, I think—here is a poem I wrote some time ago.

Lighting Matches

He fills his pipe,

scrapes the tobacco into the bowl.

I watch him do it,

wonder how he doesn’t get shreds

of the moist, sticky stuff under his nail.

But he never does.

He lights it with a match,

a wooden match,

never a lighter.

This disappoints me.

My father owned a lighter,

lovely silver basket-weave pattern,

the old kind

with a flint.

I loved to watch him fill it,

loved the smell of the fluid,

loved the danger of the process.

At any moment the fluid could spill.

We’d both go up in a flash of fire.

This man uses matches.

He’s nowhere near as dangerous as Dad.

2 Responses to “Lighting Matches”

  1. nevercontrary October 4, 2012 at 7:29 pm #


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