Live Coals

Long buried embers

still smoulder,

here in this frozen night.

Owing to the fortitude

of the construction

and the labours spent therein.


Didn’t think they’d still be burning,

even after all these years,

but it seems that I

build bonds to burn a lifetime.

It goes to show

what I invest.


Never think that hatred

is the reason for the end.

It’s never simple;

love finds ways to set a fire.

The spark is nothing,

if not intentional.


The girders held,

until the heat

condemned them

to buckle and then fall.

A spectacular inferno.

I’m sure you watched it

from afar

and delighted in its brilliance,

never giving thought

to the notion

that some connection

was destroyed

and now

someone must suffer.


Ashes turn to ashes,

dust to dust

and soon some new construct

must begin.

The site of the old bridge

is cleared and prepared

for some new wonder.

As the ruins are cleared away,

decades of neglect and decay

and nature’s emotionless reclamation,

under all the detritus,

we find a hot spot

and a little deeper down;

live coals.


Exposed to air

they glow a fiery red

and gasp,

like a dead thing revived.

How deeply love can slumber,

even severed,

even wounded.

How deeply it must have been driven

into the Earth.

Surely built

to last an eternity.


More incomprehensible then,

the heat of the fire

that must have burned

to render such magnificence

to ash.

Surely a lesser material

would have given up the embers

decades ago.


Take a moment,

and meditate upon the idea

of a master engineer

building bridges

just to burn them.

Maybe with these embers found,

more will be done

to protect these cherished connections.


Meditate on embers

of what once was

and as impressive as they are,

we must extinguish them.

We are building bigger things now.

Time progresses,

as unfeeling as nature.

What’s done is done,

the time comes and goes,

but have a care for your constructs;

for sometimes only in their ashes

do we see the strength

of our foundations.


HG – 2018

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