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"Consuming Fire" by Kaitlin Wachter

Updated: Oct 18, 2021

Consuming Fire

Kaitlin Wachter, Frederick Community College

Her hand grasps steel,

Steel strikes flint –

The spark awakens

Then sputters, lacking fuel.

Tinder, dry, held in reserve, is slowly swallowed

Stoking, growing light.

Her soft breath encourages the flicker

To flourish,

To trace the paper

It takes patience.

But it’s heavily rewarded

With a spreading tongue of flame, dancing

On the perilously thin edge

Of kindling.

Bark, brushed by flame

Peeling, curling into itself

Splitting, leaving open to air

The vulnerable skin,

White with verdant tinges.

The blaze, no pity shown

Consuming, in tiny bites

The logs placed across,

Pinning down the kindling, shuddering –

Soon the air is crackling with overwhelming

Heat, ash rises and the flame roars,


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