Chimney smoke exactly as gray
As the sky to which it rises
Teases the aimless snow that falls
With endless compromises,
But that's the way it is, I suppose,
In love as in winter weather:
People mix and mingle, drift apart,
Drift back together;
Where two have melted into one
Love flies its fragile kite,
But I see signals of distress,
I know where fire has melted ice
and lovers play a cheerful game,
I know one who sweats with shovel,
Freezes to feed the flame.
"Bringing in the Firewood" appears in Making Up For Lost Dreams: A Collection by Stanford Pritchard, 2000, available at 10 Springside Rd., Middlebury, VT 05753.