The Iron Stove

I wrote this piece years ago while on a sailing trip. It was later published in Surfacing a collection of poems written by young Canadians. The piece is about emotion struggles within oneself and how those struggles effect us.

The cast iron stove sends heat to battle the snow,
it’s fiery sparks clashing with frozen stars.

“Did I smile?” asks the boy.
No voice answers as his tears run swiftly,
sustaining the red-bellied salmon that swim in the river of sorrow.

The stove sputters, her anger of old has died.
She recalls her troops, she sees through the eye of the storm.

The boys tears fall faster and he shivers with cold.
His frost-bitten fingers fumble with the lighter.

The lady of winter settles, her ice-white children fill the pipes.

His lighter meets the oil can and the fire reluctantly comes- it comes, burning the timber and melting the ice and snow,
and the boy’s tears melt away,
leaving this blackened hole of ashen doom.

Sitting on the mountain top,
I pick up the broken glass as my dream wanders through the mountain gardens of my shattered mind,
weeding out the weeds and planting flowers in their stead.

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