I LOVE the ONE ART poetry journal, and I’m delighted to have two new poems published there on March 29, 2021–a small light and small hope.
Ode to the Bic Lighter
My first lighter I found in a parking lot—
a smooth red plastic tube that fit
in my pocket. I knew playing with fire
was dangerous. I knew I wanted
to learn how. I remember trying again
and again to get the right purchase
with my thumb on the serrated sparkwheel.
I rolled and rolled until my skin was raw,
until at last the brief flame sputtered then died.
It wasn’t long before it came second nature—
the smooth flick needed to produce a spark,
the slight pressure on the red tongue
to maintain steady flame.
I learned how it burns
to be lit up too long,
but once you know how to make light,
how easy it is to bring it with you
everywhere you go.
Nudged by hope
the heart rises
It’s like the great blue heron
I saw this morning
flying up from a wasteland
on broad gray wings
with strong, slow beats
for a moment charged
see this, heart?—
it chose to land again,
bringing all its beauty
to the desolate place.