Fire Tender

I wake in the forest. Early spring. Still cold in the dark.

The fire is faded, but still burning. I burrow into my sleeping bag.

Late into the night. Early in the morning. Too long before the sun.


I look across the flickering flames, and I see her.

Long dark hair, glossy, reflecting the orange flames back.

Sad and proud eyes catching the sparks, catching the stars.


She watches me, curious, ethereal and distant, like stars above.

Unsure, afraid, I look back at her, but she smiles, and I am at ease.

She tends to the fire. I fall asleep again. I dream of her, of summer.


In the morn she is gone, and the fire is ashes, but I’ve made it through.

I leave a little wine and some meat in the hollow of a still living tree.

The tree is hollow like the woman’s back. But hollow is still filled with light.



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