A young child sits quiet, the forest is dark possibilities overflow his unbroken heart I ask him well after the brush takes the spark what do you see in the fire? I see light within color and color in light, trophies I’ll take home, and battles I’ll fight A bright blue horizon with no pain in sight I’ll be there and so will my parents and you’re invited too A life-sentence inmate in orange prisoner clothes Who’s been told his whole life ‘that’s just how it goes’ Who came out swinging from poverty row sits a bit close to the dangerous glow What do ya see in the fire? I see rich people laughin’ with food on their plates, And neighborhood bullies imprinted with hate Moms and dads screaming at each other insane, and hard grey redemption a little too late And I see myself as I might’ve been I’m handsome and capable and funny A young woman in college entranced by the flames is pondering silent how perfectly strange A girl could be called by so many names and not one be the one she was given What do you see in the fire? I see myself in the mirror, not pretty enough, and digital images reducing love my roommate enslaved by expectations above and then I see the face of my mother A first year preacher stands on his feet His love for man kind is true and complete While the frigid wind blows through the trees I ask, as he leans away from the heat What do you see in the fire? I see swirling confusion, question, and loss and I know all about Christ and the cross But I cannot explain the holocaust I stuttered when a young man asked me to I just couldn’t find the words… A woman of ninety with wisdom in spades her mind still as sharp as her kitchen blades… I ask as her memory nonetheless fades What do you see in the fire? I see the touch of my husband who recently passed Our hometown before the roads got so fast And I see it now in an impatient blur And I see how in love we were… I see the good Lord offering mercy, I see the good Lord offering mercy I see the good Lord Someone I care for, she sits by my side I can feel the past and the future collide She leans in and whispers “don’t think just decide” What do you see in the fire? I see the faces of my victims whose hearts I once broke calm and alive in the curling smoke All I can do is sit here and hope they may find a way to forgive me There’s something unspoken there in your eyes A pain or a love I don’t recognize I better ask you now before it dies What do you see in the fire?

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