Carefully I rummaged through the papers;
feeling for those of coarser grain, the smooth
and glossy periodicals
I rejected, and scrumpled up the rest
to start my humble flame.
My roosting doves lay cradled in the grate;
hunched in their iron nest by twigs and coal.
I fired their clipped wings, saw them stretch
out, then reach with feathered fingers
to start a downy flame.
The heat roared out and yet the chill remained;
from this I learned the real firelighters' art,
how they reach down a long handed
tinder, to kindle that older,
and more primeval flame.