BY THE FIRE PIT
Quietly, she listened to the lyrical sound of his voice as they sat by the fire
And he lamented how something that seemed so good could become so bad.
The pain in his eyes pulled on her heartstrings & served to fuel her desire
But the memories she knew lay buried in his heart suddenly made her feel sad.
Although always a competitor, this was a contest in which she chose not to compete.
She had absolutely no interest at all engaging in a battle with any sort of ghost,
And besides, she did not need anyone else on earth to make her complete
So his loss of focus, if only for an instant, is truly what saddened her the most.
Time passed, and they shared secrets, laughed together, and yes, they even cried
But ever present was that shadow from his past, looming large like a storm cloud
Waiting to explode without warning, and when finally it did, something inside her died and
She felt such immense and indescribable things that could not be said aloud.
She knew that she could have fought for him to stay, of that she felt most sure,
But Life was beckoning her to the next adventure, and a fight was not in the plan,
So she packed up her feelings, & determined she would do whatever to endure
The loss of someone whom she held in her heart but no longer in her hand.
The winds of change began to blow, and scattered many ashes that were fate-filled.
One night, beneath the star-speckled skies she scooped out all the rest of them,
Then built a brand new fire in that exact same pit & cried until her heart stilled
And with the consumption of each added log, she bled out all of the rest of him.
Flames leapt up from the fire pit & burned away memories too painful to forget.
The fire burned so intensely, just like her heart had been on fire for him.
After that multicolored heat had died down, there were only ashes left in that pit,
But she lingered until the very last of the embers had begun to die down and dim.
The thought came marching across her mind: Ashes to ashes and dust to dust.
Exactly how it had happened, for he’d come into her life from nowhere,
And to nowhere he’d returned, leaving her to sit alone by that pit twinged with rust,
Leaving her alone to wonder, stare at the stars, & breathe in the cold night air.
“How”, she wondered, “Could anything that started out like a gift from above
End up so poorly, with only a handful of ashes remaining for a memory?
How can people who profess they are building a new life and proclaim their love
Walk away so carelessly, abandoning a wonderful thing to history?”
The answers lay there in those many ashes, so dry, so lifeless, so gray:
The spark that made a flame dwindles to a cold unfathomable mess, so
People everywhere do that same thing each & every day – they walk away
Because their ghosts cannot make the effort to keep the fire going afresh.
On a warm day, beneath cheery blue skies, beside that fire pit still she sits
And when a gentle breeze stirs, she recalls the warmth, the heat and the light
And how handsome he was in all those snapshots created in time of little bits
Such as an hour, but a moment in time, all the same on a warm and starry night.
No, she is not afraid of ghosts, not those that belong to her, nor those of other men
But ghosts are ill-fated spirits who wander a home that belongs back in the past,
And they have no business haunting a new romance with what might have been.
Besides, there was a fire burning in her own soul that would all the others outlast.
– Lou Lehman Sams