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Fueling The Fire

The same fire that keeps the wolves at bay 

alerts them to your presence 

The same fire that pushes away the darkness 

makes the shadows dance 

The same fire that feeds off the air 

is threatened by the wind 

that heats the night 

is hindered by the cold 

How do you keep the fire going, knowing this? 

Where do you find the fuel? 

How do you stay alight 

in a world that wants to consume you 

  blind you 

  freeze you through & through? 

How do you keep afire in a wet 

      cold 

      dark 

      dangerous world? 

I’ve been searching for would 

but I can’t see the forest for the trees 

I’ve run out of gas 

My wick is too burned out to catch 

& the alcohol 

is too dangerous a fuel 

makes the fire unstable 

burns more than intended 

I don’t like to depend on it 

So, I remain lost in the wilderness 

fire falling 

      failing 

      flickering to fain embers 

searching for the fuel to keep it going in this cold world 

but I am all wet 

      shivering 

      sore 

      weak 

      ready 

  to let the wolves consume 

    the darkness surround me 

    the weather wear me down 

      ready to let the fire die 

I know a phoenix egg incubates in the embers 

but the fire is a double-edged sword 

& I’m afraid of pacing wolves & dancing shadows 

    of going deeper into wilderness with no paths     of burning myself again 

& of darkness yet to come 

I haven’t seen sunshine in months 

I wonder if it will ever come 

I wonder how long I can wait 

how long I can hold out 

  hold on 

how long I can last 

lost in the wilderness 

afraid of a fire that both saves me 

& enslaves me 

    indebts me to its existence 

    exposes me to dangers 

    torments me with shadows 

    taunts me with its frailty 

afraid of a fire 

that burns 

Knowing this, 

how do you keep the fire going?  

Jason E. “Jay” Walker