A languid layer of dead, gray ash

rests over the few remaining logs and twigs

that haven't burnt away long ago,

a testament to several attempts to start a fire,

to sustain warmth and light and beauty,

where only a few stray sparks now flicker.

They lie still at first,

but then they dance around a bit,

surveying the surface,

trying to determine just how much kindling

there actually is, and waiting

for one push, just maybe one little push,

to ignite a full, flourishing flame once again.

It would be so easy to fill up a bucket of water,

just douse the whole thing and walk away,

instead of following the fickle fluctuations of flickering flame,

back and forth, back and forth,

over and over and over again.

After all, I've gotten used to keeping myself warm

in the deadest chill of night.

But something tells me this time to let the sparks remain,

and be it ever so slowly,

they do begin to build back up…