by Vivian Gilbert Zabel
The heat builds, scorching the soles of my feet.
When I complain, he says, “Keep cool thoughts,
And the blistering warmth will go away.”
Cool thoughts, cool thoughts, I force myself,
But the fever doesn’t ease one degree.
Invisible flames wrap me in their blazing arms
As I struggle in vain to escape the broiling pain.
“Be patient,” he calmly states, fanning his face.
“All this will soon pass, and then you’ll see
There was nothing to worry about at all.”
I look at him in anger and disbelief.
“Are you mad!” I scream. “Can’t you tell
We’re roasting and toasting really fast.
I just can’t take any more of this!”
When he tried to take my hand in his,
I pushed him away one last time.
“Before I’m cooked past the rare stage,
I’m leaving this stove called home.
You don’t know when danger lingers.
I don’t want to be charcoaled,
Not even rare, much less to this,
And . . . and now I’m done with you.”