Poem: A Child’s Mystery


A Child’s Mystery

It is a methodical process.
The examination, the learning
of the fragile points, the places
where the most damage can be done,
the places,
once attacked, that weaken the whole building,
the air holes, the spots
where the gasoline will soak in
and permeate.

The pouring, a bit here and there
until you see how dry the wood is,
how it soaks in the fluid, hungry
for something, anything, to fill
its dry pores,
and then, poured with gusto,
in anticipation of the bonfire to come.

And then, the first match,
a deadly glow, separate
from the firetrap you build so carefully,
a tiny red menace
that lights the smile on your face
as you drop it to the floor and walk away.

Oh the flames!
A beautiful conflagration
as the flames leap to the sky,
as they consume all they touch,
crackling, dancing, free from all restraint,
wild things, with a life of their own,
lighting the dark place where you worked
so diligently towards this end.

And afterwards,
when there is nothing left
but a small pile of smoking rubble,
you are like a child,
wondering why suddenly
you have no shelter.

About this poem

Why is it that abusers are always surprised when they are left behind?



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