She spent hours by the fire,
Close enough to scorch her knees.
Sometimes she poked or fanned or prodded,
But mostly she watched.
She watched the tendrils
Of flame tickle and lick the logs,
Glancing and jumping back and forth.
She watched glimmers of cinder
Shoot into the air, too fast
For her eyes to catch
And quiet themselves on her shirtsleeves.
She loved it when an unlucky leaf
Leapt in and shriveled like a premature fall,
She watched as the flames
Got low and purple,
Just barely enough to glow
With the skeletons of the logs.
But her favorite part
Was stirring the soupy, smoking coals
In attempts to extinguish it all-
A reminder that everything
In this world
Can be reduced to
Carbon and sparks.