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Copyright 2006 by GABOR PALLA

Do Not Disturb Her Good Hearth

A poem by Eileen Malone

Sometimes, there are no matches
in her humble household

if she fails to keep the fire alive
she explains, coming to my kitchen
she can do no cooking

she must go to the house of a neighbor
and ask for some fire

this is why, then
with rice husks in the fireplace
her fire is always kept burning

            as long as one of us tends a fire
            all of us can borrow

she only asks that we
do not disturb her good hearth

she needs just enough fire
to feel the truth cook

            to see what she is doing
            what she is truly doing
            not what she wishes to think she is doing

I visit carefully
I do not disturb her good hearth

onto the burning husks
I gently place a handful of straw, enough
just enough
for one small burst
of light.

"Do Not Disturb Her Good Hearth" was previously published in Disquieting Muses.

Copyright 2006 by Eileen Malone


Eileen MaloneEileen writes:
The events and people that inspired this poem came from outside of me. The poem itself came from the act of my coming out from myself and meeting the experience, head on, spirit and gut, possessing and being possessed in a completion, a poem.

Eileen Malone lives in the coastal fog of the necropolis of Colma, where San Francisco buries its dead. Her poetry has been published in more than 300 literary journals and anthologies, some of which have earned significant awards.

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