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“The Campfire”
 
The smoke from
the campfire
hung in the
stillness
of the night
air
she poked at
the mostly burnt
logs
with a long
stick
causing a flame
to reach up
from the embers
and lap against
the freshly exposed
wood,
she is transfixed
by the orange
glow
it’s light
only reaching
out
five feet from
it’s pulsing heart
where she sits
alone
in this circle
of illumination
the pitch black
night
has its grip
on the world
around her
her best friend
Cindy
and a newly
acquired boyfriend
turned off
the lantern in
their tent
an hour ago
a two girl
tent
that was suppose
to include her
not some guy
Cindy met
a week ago
not that she
is surprised
by this
Cindy always
falls in love
hard and fast
“this guy is
different”
Cindy would
tell her
“I can see it
in his eyes”
if she had a
dollar
for every time
she heard that
they could be
at a five star
resort
instead of the
backwoods
of a state
park,
Cindy did have
one trait
she was jealous
of
no matter how
badly
her heart gets
crushed
in three days
time
it will be
wiped
from her memory
totally forgotten
like a goldfish,
unlike her
after her last
break-up
she cried nonstop
for three straight
days
and then ate
nothing but
Häagen-Dazs
ice cream
for a whole
week
before she would
even go outside,
they were polar
opposites
when it came
to guys
she liked
clean-cut
hard working
types
while Cindy
went for
guys with lots
of hair,
ink
and free time,
that last thought
made her smile
her best friend
was a nut
but the die
of friendship
for the two
of them
was already
cast
long ago
they were
to be
best friends
for life,
she reaches over
to a beat-up
cooler
fishes around
in the icy cold
water
till her hand
finds the long
neck
of a bottle
of beer
the only thing
Cindy’s new
boyfriend brought
with him
she twists off
the cap
and then flips
it
into the fire
takes a long
drink
then turns her
attention
back towards
the burning logs
her eyes catch
a dark swirl
of smoke
rising up
through a
continuous
column of
transparent
heat
she follows it
up in to the
sky
losing sight of
it
as it blends
in
to the blanket
of stars
above her
she takes another
long drink
as the universe  
unfolds
before her
she wishes
Cindy was
sitting next to
her
as was planned
to see the
wonders
the night sky
is offering up
to her
but the beauty
of the distant
stars
and bent cosmic
light
will have an
audience
of only one
tonight,
even though
she’s tired
and sitting alone
out here
she can’t deny
the strong bond
she feeling with
nature
right now
so she decides
to have another
beer
lean back
and enjoy the
show
she’s being given,
but not before
digging out that
bottle cap
she threw in
the fire earlier
and putting it
in the trash
feeling ashamed
for throwing
it there
in the first
place
and after
doing so
she would swear
to Cindy
in the morning
she could feel
nature smile…
 
     Tom Allen…09-21-2018…