Children Shouldn’t Play With Matches

Children Shouldn’t Play With Matches

she fell asleep
with the box of matches
out

she fell asleep
knowing
her sometimes
troublesome daughter
was curious
about 
the matches

she told her daughter
children
shouldn't play
with matches
then
she fell 
asleep

she woke
to the smoke
of her house
ablaze
in whipping
red and yellow flames
from her daughter
having played
with 
the matches

she lost 
her daughter
and her home
to the matches
and the flames
and
a toddler's
curiosity
instead of
a weary mother's
neglect

what she lost
to the matches
and the flames
she gained
in grief
and tears
wept upon the ruins
with sobs of
"i told her
not to play 
with matches"

from the flames
she gained
something
in grief
something different
than the love
that was too hard
and
like the sympathies
for single motherhood
wasn't
enough

she gained
the gifts
of grief
and a new beginning
with a different ending
maybe better
maybe worse
than the one before
but different
at least
which is all
she ever wanted
from the matches
and the flames

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