Created: 5th May, 2023


We keep our fire safe in a playpen

where we feed it,

mostly leftovers from the woods,

and fire is a good eater,

tasting everything.

It can grow quickly, gnawing on

each new log. Then

like a happy wolf pup, it howls.

It has no stomach, though. So fire

Is never full, never satisfied.

That’s why, no matter how it begs,

We must never set it free.


© Ted Kooser & Connie Wanek, from Marshmallow Clouds, Walker 2022