Mother says stand up straight,
Father says to smile,
Brother says wait my turn.
They care about me,
My success,
My future,
Me.
So I light a little fire inside my heart,
To keep me warm late into the night,
The time I spend dreaming of greatness.

Mother says stay quiet,
Father says watch and learn,
Brother says to leave him alone,
Little sister is loud.
I like to spend time with adults now,
They do not scream or ask me to play,
I can join them and listen,
They like my little fire that lights so many dreams.

Mother says to do as I'm told,
Father says make friends,
Brother is angry,
Little sister is so perfect.
My fire flickers but I keep it burning,
Because I know that is why they care still,
They want me and my fiery dreams to stay strong.

Mother says that I am quiet,
Father says I am different,
Brother has left and is happy now,
Little sister is annoying.
Why am I so sad? Why does no one like me?
My little fire roars one day and burns a mean boy,
And now everyone likes me and my inferno...
Or they run.

Mother says not to yell,
Father says he has to work,
Brother says it's time to grow up,
Little sister has a new gold star.
My inferno serves me well as I play rough,
But the shell that houses it is not strong enough,
The broken bone hurts, I'm scared.

Mother says that I can still change,
Father says I should try harder,
Brother says that I will see,
Little sister has so many friends.
I rekindle the dying flame and walk on to a new chapter,
I am alone, I am scared, I am useless and tired,
Look how hard they have worked to give me another chance.

No one else's mother said obey,
No one else's father said work hard,
No one else's brother said endure,
No one else's little sister was perfect.
Why is my little fire the only one to burn me?
Fires are meant to light the way and comfort us,
I have no one to tell about my burns and breaks.

She says that I am strong,
He says that I am focused,
He says that I am friendly,
She says that I did better than her.
Why do these strangers lie to me so much?
They talk as if I have never done anything wrong,
No one keeps there eyes on me so I snuff my fire,
And I fall asleep.

She says that she can help,
I don't need to sleep anymore,
Everyone wants me to succeed,
I tell her I know.
That's why I was taught to respect people,
To do as I was told and work hard to earn things,
To stand on my own to make my fire burn,
She's sad about that.

Mother says that she is proud,
Father says that I worked hard,
Brother says I made it,
Little sister wants me to teach her.
How did I get here, me and my little ember?
I don't even remember the work, long nights and tears,
Do they even realize that there is nothing left to burn?

Mother wants to know if I'm proud too,
Father wants to know what my plans are from here,
Brother wants to know if I'm excited,
Little sister wants a hug.
All the pressure is lifted and my ember roars,
An inferno burning brightly trying to catch one of them,
Feel me burn and burn with me.

When the heat fades I am nothing but whips of smoke,
My family has been singed but did not feel my burns,
They stand in awe looking at me, bellow me.
I look down to see what my smoky essence is drifting from,
A hard diamond, formed of their pressure and my fire,
A cold stone of value to them, and useless to my smoky form.
I admit, it is a beautiful stone.

Mother says I'm being silly,
Father says it's for the best,
Brother shows me his new family with joy,
Little sister starts her own chapter.
And I stare at the diamond and wonder,
Can I go back to sleep now? Is it over?
She was sad, I remember, that I wanted to be the fire,
I am too.