If you must carry fire, carry it in
your heart – somewhere sheltered but hidden,
polished by hands that once loved it.
The lining may be scorched and blackened
but only you must ever know this.
That easy hush you sometimes hear at night
as the darkness stirs in you, is not
the accustomed ache of blood, but a flame
shivering against the wind –
a meagre flame seeded long before you were born
which you have always known must be kept
burning forever, and offered to no one.