The Little Match-Seller

once upon a time

the sun streaked below the clouds

of billowing coal dust and water vapor.

the buildings, brick and stone,

laid haphazard and close together

sat quiet tucked under the slowing chug of the chimneys from the factories nearby

 

marie could feel the rough brick, chipped and marked from years of use and

unsteady workmanship,

under her thin fingerprints

but just barely

 

the quiet click-clack-rustle of matchsticks

tucked in a tattered tunic

bounced off her knees with every step

until her weary feet bled through the holes in her shoes

 

an alley, darker still from the dim laterns only just lit,

beckoned marie forward

into the blanket of brick on either side

 

the brisk wind swept in from the street

as marie picked the pebbles from her heels

and gathered her matchsticks all in one hand

 

as the chimneys ground to trickles of grey

and the clouds crept in over steaming rooftops

sparse ghosts of breath fell from her mouth

 

"just one."

"just one, there'll be enough to sell tomorrow."

the breeze swept up the golden flame.

 

"there's plenty left. just one more."

again the wind stole marie's fire

 

"just one more. there's just one more."

This poem is about: 
Our world

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