You Might Have Saved a Life – by Claudine Nash

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You might have saved a life tonight.


On impulse,

you might have looked

a faintly-known stranger

straight in the eyes

and caught sight of a life

waiting to ignite.


You might have reached in

and kindled it,


breathed wind

into this heat that burns

without flame,


flicked a spark

into a field of dry grass

and yelled “Live!”

or “Fire!” or “There is a gift

in these ashes that needs

to be scattered.”


Tomorrow your stranger might

awaken alert and recalled,


they might set their Wild

Fire free and watch it spread

from sleeper to sleeper

until the world


shakes itself alive

and the murky sky starts



You might have saved a life tonight.

You might have saved us all.

Claudine Nash is an award-winning poet whose collections include her full length books Parts per Trillion (Aldrich Press, 2016) and The Wild Essential (Aldrich Press, forthcoming) as well as her chapbook The Problem with Loving Ghosts  (Finishing Line Press, 2014). Her poetry has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and has appeared in a wide range of publications including Asimov’s Science Fiction, Cloudbank, Haight Ashbury Literary Journal, Foliate Oak and Dime Store Review amongst others. She is also a practicing psychologist.

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