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  • Ali Tadlaoui

Toasting Marshmallows

It might have been the hiss,

the window of our tiny house was ajar.

Or the waxing of rain drops,

drumming on the roof.

Hours later our campfire was smoldering,

aglow on pine panels inside, when I awoke.

One corner of a log ablaze,

not ten feet from the door.

I’d doused the fire three times,

heeding the call to not leave it untended.

Half-awake it rages before me,

everyone else asleep.

Charred burgers and sloppy s’mores,

digesting in our dreams.

I had to coax this fire between cloud bursts,

to keep my promise to the kids.

This campfire is bent on keeping me up; it won’t quit.

Fire and water do mix, at times, it appears.

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