The Flame

by Sally Cook

A flame of knowledge in the night
Burns past the dim room and stiff chair;
Better to see by than a light
Cold, unforgiving, unaware.
That flame remains. How can it burn
So bright and blue, so steady, sure—
Consuming everything in turn:
All anger, raw emotion, pure
Affection for a simple thing?
It burns away your strength, our youth,
A blossom, and the patterned wing
Of thought that brushes us with truth.
Yet still it burns, and always will,
In spite of life’s brief awkward chill.