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A FIRE & A FLAME + other poems

Updated: Apr 28, 2022

by Ashley Smith


You see pictures of their orange haze

Houses, forests, all ablaze

Each one of the two, in internet fame

Appears to be exactly the same

But there will always be a difference

Between a fire and a flame

Both burn bright and both burn hot

Under control, until they’re not

Once set free, they are both hard to tame

Yet they are still not exactly the same

Do you know the difference?

Between a fire and a flame

Smoke is something a fire will bring

By definition, a fire is a burning thing

And like a flame, it can bring excruciating pain

But still the two cannot be considered the same

There is still a difference

Between a fire and a flame

In order for a fire to be made

One must start with a tiny flame

When kindled and fueled from the very start

Each component plays a vital part

But what ultimately causes a fire so great

Is the initial spark of a tiny flame

A flame is not merely a combustion spark

A flame, in fact, can come from the heart

From your heart the flame begins to grow

It takes abode inside your soul

A calling from that little spark came

Your fire of destiny lit from a tiny flame

Now when you see a fire or flame

Remember which one from the other came

Will you look at the two as exactly the same?

Will you recall these words from within your brain?

Keep within your memory the difference

Between a fire and a flame


The memories would torment my heart and mind

A picture could open a spillway of tears

They came no matter time or place

Uninvited, unwelcome thoughts

The wound reopened each time

I wanted nothing more, nothing less

Than to get you off my mind

But then one day the tears slowed down

When I looked at the pictures

For the first time, I noticed your smile

I remember how happy

Oh, how free that you were

With the things of this world

You could not be concerned

From that turning day forward

I began to notice more things

The memories slowly quit hurting

Now, the pictures bring joy

Reminiscing your laughter

Your love, your jokes

The pain got easier from that first turning point

When the waves come crashing

When the light becomes dim

I find sweet comfort in this

One day things will get better

The joy will come back

No matter the battle

On the turning day, hope fights back


Each day you hear how the old ways are dying

The traditions have run cold

Why can your own food?

Afterall, we can get it from the store

Where family farms once stood

Now subdivisions have grown

But I, for one, beg to differ

The old ways aren’t through

There’s a piece of their traditions still alive

In quilts and projects passed down to me and you

As a child I sat and watched them

Skillful hands, working swift

They sat rocking, quilting, sewing

Needle piercing through the cloth in precision

With each stitch they talked and chattered

Many stories in their presence were told

Now I often sit and ponder

All the stories those old timers did tell

What would happen if the quilts they left behind could whisper?

Or if each stitch told a story they heard

They would tell of the gardens

Planted in hope and with love

Their rows full of fall harvest promises

From their memory they would recall

All the prayers said, all the recipes shared

Each and every word they would tell

Family history and tall tales

A lifetime of work and experiences

Brought back to life and learned

If each stitch told a story they heard


Ashley Smith is a 20-year-old Education major at Lincoln Memorial University. She has always had a love for writing, in all genres, but she has a more personal connection to poetry. All her poems connect to her personal life, in some way, and help bring her memories back to life.

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