I watched from the window
as he walked out again
wide open jacket exposing
his frightened heart,
hands already quite chilled
from having no mittens.

A cold draft blew through
when he slammed the door,
turning away from the beginnings
of the kind of roaring fire
he swore he wanted blazing
at the heart of his life.

He blindly runs through the snow,
tripping through drifts piling high
which deceptively cover
too much uneven ground
for him to traverse without falling.

As he flees from facing his pain,
towards some sparse flame
glowing with promise
in the distant night,
I catch a glimpse of sad hope
burning in his misguided eyes.

I heard the forecast,
so I tried to warn him.
cold today, cold tomorrow,
even colder next week.

I see more storms rolling
into his life,
dress warm I call out,
and learn how to build your own fire.

I know what awaits him
from my own life spent
shivering in unspeakable blizzards
chasing another’s promise of warmth.

I attended to so many small fires
that were lit, then stomped out
by some like-minded fool.

But I kept running towards them,
until one day, nearly frozen,
I realized I was mostly
running from me.

I stopped,
and I went back inside.
I sat down.
I started over.
I learned how to dress myself warm.
And then I rose up,
and went out in the dark
on my own.

I stood in the bitter, dark winds
and faced a forest of work,
crying through the blistering pain
of chopping and piling
because I finally saw
it was the only way
to have the kind of roaring fire
I swore I wanted blazing
at the heart of my life.

And now there is him.

Once, twice, three times
he’s come to my door
seeking warmth,
afraid he’ll never find fire.

I let him in,
so he could see,
even though I was not finished.

But he’s fled again,
and this time I’m letting him go,
because he is not ready
to build his own fire
and he will not wait
for me to finish my own.

I am losing sight of him now
as the snow swiftly covers his tracks.

I bundle up,
and head back out
to my forest of work.
And as I face into
my own dark winds again,
my heart will stay hopeful
that before you freeze
he’ll stop running
long enough to see that
he is the only one who can build
the kind of roaring fire
he swears he wants blazing
at the heart of his life.

~ cj 2013.04.20

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8 Responses to Blazing

  1. Geo says:

    Holy F*%K!

    This piece is brilliant and BLAZING CJ! I love it!


    • cjromb says:

      Holy F*%K Geo! I love that you read and commented! 🙂 And it means a lot to me that you like it, too.

  2. morine says:

    holy f*%k, CJ!

    Geo is right. this piece IS brilliant. what a mind-blowing story it tells. learn how to build your own fire, indeed. i love this — thanks for sharing it.

    • cjromb says:

      You two made me SMILE big time today! 🙂

      I’ve never spent so much time working on a piece. I had the concept out and most of the content in about 15 minutes, but then I read it, and changed the words around, and read it some more, and altered some more things…
      for SEVEN hours! I’m still playing around with it today.

      Funny you two like it so much. I’m not sure how I feel about it.

      Thanx for reading it and commenting. It really DOES matter!

  3. Christine says:

    Blazing is the most beautiful tasting tragedy I’ve seen you put up. It’s like watching love ruthlessly murdered through the curtains of the most exquisite lace.

    • cjromb says:

      Wow, Christine. Perhaps I should add some lacy curtains. I had a more rustic place in mind, but what an interesting touch that would be!

      Thx for taking the time to read it. 🙂

  4. Sue R. says:

    CJ, you’ve found a most exquisite way of expressing that wrenching and wavering and letting go. I can’t wait to read more of your writing. Don’t stop, okay?

    • cjromb says:

      What wonderful feedback! Thx, Sue. You can subscribe so you get notification if you want. I don’t email out anything to that list. It just automatically emails you when I post a poem or essay.

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