The metal doors on the black fireplace
in my grandparents’ house had glass windows
that glowed orange and bathed the whole room
in a warm light as the sun set and
I snuggled in her lap while she rocked me.
He would let me add logs to the fire,
showing me how to open the door carefully
by tapping it with my fingers, going
pfft, pfft, pfft with my lips at each touch.
To grasp too tightly was to be burned.
Even as a child I was drawn to the fire,
that part of my soul remembering
all the way back to those moments of sitting
around the circle telling the stories that kept us
alive when there was so much to fear.
On those cold days when we sat near our flame,
I already knew we had not tamed it, or captured it.
We were blessed to have it dwell among us
and cast both warmth and shadows
around the room as we sat together in silence.