“Be ignited or be gone.”
-Mary Oliver, “Things I Have Learned so Far”


Step out of your narrow doorway,
tiptoe toward the fire.


Disregard the voices—
your own and others’—
trying to keep you safe.


Approach the flame,
feel the heat start to tickle
your cheeks, your earlobes,
that cold corner of your soul.


Close your eyes and feel,
then step,
then step closer and feel deeper,
taking the risk
they all tell you not to take.


Open your eyes,
see the blue and orange ribbons
dancing, swirling, leaping.


Raise your lips in a smile,
flirting with fulfillment,
joining with joy.


Hear your voice
tell you that this is exactly
what you are meant to do.


Take your candle
out from behind your back,
be ignited.

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