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Poetry Contest #5 - Second Place

I Welcomed You Upon My Hearth

by Piotr Pawlowski

I welcomed you upon my hearth
With a nest made of ribbons
Torn from the local paper
And kindling from this year’s Christmas tree
The hemlock sampling I cut
From my neighbour’s yard by moonlight
I welcomed you upon my hearth
With bird brand matches
And a half quarter chord of maple and oak
From seven I saved up for all summer
I welcomed you upon my hearth
As if you were a distillation
From the original spark
Which you are, as am I
I welcomed you upon my hearth
As if my hearth was a frame
That kept a photograph of a lover
That kept me warm from summer to fall
I welcomed you upon my hearth
As if my beckoning was a peace treaty
Between spirit and solid
I welcomed you upon my hearth
As if I was the only one that needed you
I welcomed you upon my hearth
And you came the length of a match stick
For threadbare alchemy
My perverse offering

So I sat in front of you
Like an aspirant

Since the night depended on your teachings
But I fell asleep at your feet
While you silently expired

When I awoke
I swept ashes into the mourning bucket
Saving the coals charged
With your secret mantra
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