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Passing the torch





I can’t pass the torch you’re so eager to carry This fire burns fervent, dear child. In untamed hands it consumes and destroys Too fierce for a heart that is wild. Empyreal beings, millions and more, each embers from a smoldering flame Crossing space and time to contribute a glint To one who had yet to be named. Flickers of light gently placed in my soul One single trace on another Nourishing my body like a baby just born Suckling milk from the breast of her mother. Demanding more than I could ingest, They suffered my cries through the night Gaining strength spark by spark ‘til my muscles were strong Soon ready to take my first flight. Impatient and green, flying steady and low Insistent I soar so much higher Impulsive and reckless, a crash and a burn ‘til able to sustain meager fire. Like a shooting star, flashing bright through the sky disappears in unwelcoming space Marching unbridled, indiscreet, no direction I would soon know a similar fate. Be patient and learn, sit close ‘round our camp Be warmed by the chorus of sages Words spoken and written, echos of love A symphony heard through the ages. They each shared a story of courage and faith compassion, integrity, grace Of suffering and joy and peace that prevails Of a home at the end of the race. My silence became kindling Wisdom, the fuel as I tended and stoked what was mine My courageous heart now fully engulfed A torch, birthed of the divine. Once anxious to run ahead of the old To proclaim what would be the new truth I now humbly walk, a few steps behind Grateful they nourished my youth. Many would threaten to extinguish this flame It must be destroyed, they’d invoke But my heart had grown stronger than arrows of fear Like tinder, they vanish in smoke. But how will you know? Your mind screams for answers! Who will pass you the torch with your name? No one, my child, it’s already inside. It is yours when the sparks turn to flame. Your torch fire might shine as a beacon of light A guide in times of unrest.

Your torch fire may give warmth on a cold, lonely night Welcoming strangers you take in as guests. Your torch fire may blaze against forces hellbent To exploit and prey on the small Your torch fire may be delightful and wild Bringing laughter and joy to us all. To take up the charge of the torchbearer’s path Isn’t for fame or for glory. It’s entrusted to those who prepare to take part In our one sacred, eternal story.


~ Denée King, July 2023




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