Ode to the Bic Lighter
My first lighter I found in a parking lot—
a smooth red plastic tube that fit
in my pocket. I knew playing with fire
was dangerous. I knew I wanted
to learn how. I remember trying again
and again to get the right purchase
with my thumb on the serrated sparkwheel.
I rolled and rolled until my skin was raw,
until at last the brief flame sputtered then died.
It wasn’t long before it came second nature—
the smooth flick needed to produce a spark,
the slight pressure on the red tongue
to maintain steady flame.
I learned how it burns
to be lit up too long,
but once you know how to make light,
how easy it is to bring it with you
everywhere you go.
Nudged by hope
the heart rises
It’s like the great blue heron
I saw this morning
flying up from a wasteland
on broad gray wings
with strong, slow beats
for a moment charged
see this, heart?—
it chose to land again,
bringing all its beauty
to the desolate place.
Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer co-hosts Emerging Form, a podcast on creative process. She also co-hosts Telluride’s Talking Gourds Poetry Club and is co-founder of Secret Agents of Change. She teaches poetry for mindfulness retreats, women’s retreats, scientists, hospice and more. Her poetry has appeared in O Magazine, on A Prairie Home Companion, in Rattle.com and in Ted Kooser’s American Life in Poetry. Her most recent collection, Hush, won the Halcyon Prize. She is often found in the kitchen baking with her teenage children. One word mantra: Adjust. https://wordwoman.com/
5 thoughts on “Two Poems by Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer”
So good. I’m especially moved by “Small Hope,” and the lines “did you/see this, heart?” Both poems very visual and sensory – wonderful!
Thank you, Barbara! Oh friend–I remember that day standing out at the edge of what seemed a wasteland and seeing this and very much did say to my heart, did you see this?