Two Matches

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FranktheFrank
Posts: 1534
Joined: 02 Mar 2016, 18:07
Location: Between the mountains and the sea

Two Matches

#1 Post by FranktheFrank » 10 Aug 2019, 19:04

That’s what we were given.
Some placed a pile of wood, lit
the two matches and stood back
awaiting a blaze as if a miracle
was about to happen.

Others carefully cut tinder,
but if it was damp in any way,
failure.

The clever ones on a grey wet day
hunted recesses: spider’s webs,
fluff, dust, wood chippings;
anything as long as it was dry.

Then honed their axes so it could shave
as if we had any hair at eleven years of age;
made a ball of the stuff
sliced away at a dry stick
to create a bundle of shavings
elevated the pile onto a dry rock
shaded it from the wind
and lit the first match
in the confines of their hat.

In later years this discipline paid off
on barren windswept moors
after a long hike when we longed
for warm soup, a tin of Nescafe
with thick condensed milk
and although we harboured a whole
box of matches on our person
it had been ingrained
in us that each one was life.

A damp box of matches foredoomed
us to hunger and a miserable night
without a warm rock to hug.

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Billy
Posts: 952
Joined: 22 Jun 2006, 10:56

Re: Two Matches

#2 Post by Billy » 11 Aug 2019, 07:23

I like this little tale of survival.

I had a Native American friend in art class who invited me to an inipi or sweat. He started a fire with fine shavings and flint and skillfully got it blazing to heat the grandfathers or rocks.

FranktheFrank
Posts: 1534
Joined: 02 Mar 2016, 18:07
Location: Between the mountains and the sea

Re: Two Matches

#3 Post by FranktheFrank » 11 Aug 2019, 09:53

You were honoured Billy
a special experience.

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