My inspiration for “Something’s Burning” came from Verse-Love, Ethical ELA, which was created by Sarah J. Donovan. Today’s prompt was from Tammy Breitwiester, who is a literacy coach in Wisconsin. She suggested to take inspiration from Naomi Shihab Nye’s poem Burning the Old Year. After reading the poem, what stuck most in my head were the lines:
So much of any year is flammable,
lists of vegetables, partial poems.
I skimmed an old journal looking for some inspiration, and I found a partial poem, which I revived and reconstructed. It was buried deep down inside me. I thought it might be time it give it some oxygen and let it burn.
Something’s Burning You were the adult. I loved you so much With a complete trusting heart. You were my hero, My poet-father. For years, I searched for the answers: How could you hurt someone Who is part of you? Did you hate yourself that much? Do you understand the pain You caused me? Then, I burnt away all my feelings Leaving them red, raw, blistering. I burnt the whole of me away Until there was just bone, Hard white bone. In a strange way, You made me strong. And out of the ashes I rose like smoke And filled the air.