That night. That blissful night that sheltered us
in frost and bitter coldness. Nothing
but dark shadows staining marks in the snow,
looking for more wood to build our fort;
our own safe place.
It was going to keep us warm from the snow.
It was going to shield us from enemies
that may come from the wood; the enemies
who also crept throughout the darkness and
the enemies who were safe in the light, outside the wood.
Though, we never finished it. It stands, half built,
in the middle of the woods, left to curious onlookers who may question how it got there and why it wasn’t finished.
Funny thing is, we don’t know how it got there;
we don’t know why it isn’t finished.
We started building, one stick after another,
building walls to keep us safe.
We didn’t know we were going to find another
fort in the darkening wood. It was already made,
though it seemed like it hadn’t been entered in a long time.
We had to shine some light on it before we entered.
It was slightly terrifying for me.
I’ve never been there.
But, then I noticed neither have you.
We entered into the old place, moving frosted webs
and crusted leaves. There were two chairs:
one for you and one for me.
We entered, feeling slightly vulnerable,
not knowing if something were to creep in without us realizing. Surely, something did.
Our defenses were down, not ready to fight back.
We were cold and silent. This force, this altering intruder,
brought flame. It brought shock. Surely,
the fort was to burn down; surely we were not meant,
or allowed, to be in this old place.
Yet, we stayed.
And there was no fire to put out.
I thought the fire would be destruction. It wasn’t.
The flame wasn’t burning down our foundation,
it was giving it light. Illuminating our vulnerabilities,
the safe wooden walls, the red dirt on your face,
and the leaves in my hair. Our silence had been broken
and coldness turned to comforting warmth.
This fire. It wasn’t lit to burn our walls and
leave ashes meant to be stored.
It was lit for us to finally see through the darkness;
the darkness that exists in our own walls of safety;
the darkness that surrounded us on that cold,
snowy night; the darkness that I had a hard time
searching through. But, the fire was lit; I jumped through.
We left that fort, hand in hand, still surrounded
by darkness. Still surrounded by unknown,
and known, enemies; filled with unanswered possibilities.
I seemed to be looking at the light, though; the light
that started the fire, the innocent attacker of my walls:
she was beautiful.