A Single Tent

A single tent erected
near a fire.
An old man,
blue jeans, a red plaid shirt,
sat in a green fold-out chair.
Eyes transfixed
by flames,
melting wood.
Alone.
Without even a dog.

Was his mind blank
or contemplating
a lonely existence?
Did memories play
between the flames?

Was it his past that
hypnotized him so?
Perhaps a woman?
What fate left him
with only fire?
Alone.
Without even a dog.

Did he experience love?
Was she everything,
until the storms of
this beautiful world,
promising no guarantees,
stole her away?
Do only flames
give him warmth?
Not even a dog?

May he find peace
gazing into fire’s heart.
Better to burning there,
than to be ash
beneath another’s fire.

I wanted to find
a log for my rump, and
talk with this mourner.

But a query from
the raven-haired woman
beside me disrupted
my musings.

Words meant to
elicit a smile
are only nonsense
to my mind.

Her laughter lost
its contagious strength.
I only found solace
peering out the
car window.

Soon,
I would take a seat
with her,
a memory
inside a lonely fire.

At least, I’ll have a dog.

© 2016 C.J. Staryk. All Rights Reserved.

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