Wildfire

Isn’t it ironic

How the strongest,

Most thick-headed

People you know

Are the most emotional?

The smallest thing

Can set them off,

Like how a flyaway ember

Can land on a dead leaf,

And start a wildfire.

I sometimes wonder

If somebody blew out their fire,

Washing away all warmth

From their once soft, pure heart.

Or maybe they’ve seen some shit,

And turned their own

Blood-pumping muscle

Into a heart-shaped stone

To make sure

They wouldn’t hurt,

And never put it back

To its default setting

Because they feared

Dealing with their emotions,

Feeling any or all things negative.

I think those people

Can’t accept the love

Their family and friends offer

Because they think

They don’t deserve it.

But they do.

And some of us try

So damn hard

Just to show them

That they are just

As worthy of love

As the next guy,

No matter how hard

Their heart-hardened friends

Push back.

Isn’t it perplexing

How those people

Try so ridiculously hard

Just to show everyone

That nothing can hurt them?

And yet,

Isn’t it so obvious

That doing so

Has only shown

That the fire that burnt out

However long ago

Is still there?

It sits right inside their

Tightly clenched fists,

Idly,

Waiting to be thrown

At the next person

Who tries to make them feel

Absolutely anything.

Because of those people,

I can’t help but constantly wonder

Why feeling emotions

Is such a bad thing?

And why do so many people

try to turn them off?

As if there’s some kind of switch,

As if we had some kind of choice,

As if feeling things

Are something we can control.

I need someone to explain to me

Why it is so taboo

To show and talk about

What’s inside of us.

And honestly,

I think if everyone kept

Just a little bit of fire

Left in their hearts,

Maybe the world

Wouldn’t have to deal with

So many wildfires.


Prompt: Write a poem—but somehow include any of the five elements (earth, water, fire, wind, spirit).

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