Following Fire

By Andy Mitchell

The featured act waved him off.
They shooed him away,
The man juggling aluminum

Baseball bats,
And tennis rackets –
All of which were on fire!

The touring group had come seeking
The glory they believed was theirs.
And here was a grown man

Playing with fire,
A real rock star in disguise
Mesmerising the crowd before him.

Well, the band grew inflamed
As they took the stage.
Wasn’t the limelight rightfully theirs?

So they shooed him away;
They waved him off, this man
Who was stealing their show.

For how in the world were they –
The featured act – supposed to
Follow fire?


Catching Fire

Ordinarily I trudge home alone
At the end of the day, knee-
Deep in twilit reflection.  

Tonight I had company.
Tonight I was joined
By my niece and my nephew.

While the former served as guardian angel,
The latter was the perfect shadow
Of my former self,

Flipping his water bottle
Over and over
Until it cleared a certain tree branch

Landing on the sidewalk
Sometimes upright,
Sometimes not,

When, out of the fading blue…
A lightning bug,
A firefly.

I’ve called them

At this point my nephew forgot
His bottle,
Cupping his hands 

Not for the rush
Of water
Righting itself

Contained – rather
For the timeless joy of catching
Fire in flight.



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