Your dying flame

flames-890You curl towards me with your scrubby, grubby head,
your long neck bent
as if in whispered conspiracy.
I turn my dignified frame from your dying flame
finished with you and your insignificant fizzle.
Where is your stiff wooden stance?
Your pride, the fire so briefly ignited?
Although distracting for an instant
you were never the object of my desire
just a disposable tool in my kit
and now the tinder sparks, the kindling sets afire,
licking my logs with exotic tongues of purest gold
while your small glory is spent
and a more enduring fire warms my hands.
Poor skinny matchstick,
not worthy to be remembered as
an old flame, or even a one night stand
I flick your cooling frame into the grate
did you really think you were a match for me?

©Jane Paterson Basil


8 thoughts on “Your dying flame

  1. As with all good poems, particularly those about spent match sticks, it has a whiff of lingering sulfur, redolent of a lost memory, the haunting sense that there is more to the poem than its evanescent flame. Well done 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you!
      As a child I liked to play a game in which the opponent comes up with an object which you have to talk about for two minutes – it would always be something like a match, or a blank sheet of paper. I was good at the game.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you! It was inspired by a comment I wrote to another blogger. I told her that she could probably manage to write a poem about a spent match if she was so inclined, and then I thought “Why don’t I write one instead?”


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