Coaxing the Fire


Coaxing the Fire.

The poker methodically at its task,
guided by the sure and steady hand,
rosy glow of embers gently coaxed,
nursed from deathbed to resurrection,
throwing warmth out over worn tiles.

The door of the stove is open,
maw glaring molten and red,
soon bread transfixed on the long fork,
dance o’er the coals and under the eye,
of an ever watchful cat as,
Lyons tea is kept warm on the top,

Butter to be spread thickly,
with the green handled knife,
after the rapid rasping removal,
by a deft hand of any charring,
cast to join the cinders in the scuttle,
the little clock ticking to quarter past eight.

Smoke curling up from the Caroll,
baggy cardigan drawn over her shape,
that silhouette seen in the window,
the warmth of the welcome within,
half the day coaxing the fire,
missed for the rest of our life.

by Ruairí de Barra

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