A Hundred Gourds 4:3 June 2015

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Terri L. French - USA

Prometheus started it

Building a fire is a man’s job, just ask any man. Give a man a couple of sticks, some steel and flint, matches and charcoal, or—God forbid—a can of lighter fluid and he becomes as excited as a kid on Christmas morning.

In the fire starting ritual, the young boys are sent to fetch dry kindling. The men gather the larger pieces of firewood and place them tee-pee style around the kindling inside a circle of rocks, allowing for airflow. Grunting and gesturing commences. He who strikes the match takes it upon himself to be the fire tender, while the other men are demoted to log gatherers or occasionally fire fanners. Tall flames elicit praises from the women which inflate the mens’ chests.

The fire tender rarely rests, but spends the evening feeding the fire, poking and prodding the smoldering logs, as the fire worshipers sit, mesmerized, entranced by the flames' dance.

scattering ashes
no one tells you
about the bones

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