Fire and Stars

It is all on fire, she said matter-of-factly,
smoothing the blanket over her thin legs.

What’s on fire, Granny,
I asked, as I searched for flames.

The world, my love;
The whole world is on fire.
Passion, good or bad, is a fuse.
If it is lit, it will explode;
that is what it was made to do.
The fuse has been lit.

I don’t see it, Granny;
I don’t see the fire.

You don’t see it yet, my love,
You don’t see it yet, but you will.
You will feel the heat and the anger.
The smoke will burn your eyes and
steal your breath.

Don’t scare the child, Mama,
there’s no fire.

Granny leaned closer to whisper,
“But behind the clouds, my love,
behind the clouds are billions of
beautiful stars.
Look for the stars.
You will see those one day, too.”

first draft

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