Lighting The Fire

A poem by John Frederick Freeman

You were a gipsy as you bent
Your dark hair over the black grate.
Hardly the west light above the hill
Showed your shadow, crooked and still.
The bellows hissed, and one bright spark
Deepened the hasty dark.

The bellows hissed, and the old smell
Crept on the air of smoking peat,
And round the spark a bubbling flame
Grew bright and loud. Sweeping the gloom
Lunatic shadows fled and came
Whirling about the room.

Then as you raised your head I saw
In the clear light of the bubbling fire
Your dark hair all lined with the gray
Sprinkled by years and sorrow and pain ...
Till as the bellows idle lay
Shadow swept back again.

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