The deafening roar of silence
smothers the flame;

it burns,
fighting for words
in the dead air of night;

its light
wavers, as the dark
encroaches, as the cold
assails the red-yellow licks
of the fire,

creeping like an inevitable tide,
wave after wave — unstoppable? — no mind
to relent, no thought given
to what fuels the flames.

They sputter, those flames, but
endure, the light of the present
fighting to illuminate
the path
into that clouded,