The Fire Setter

By Jeff Holt


He waited on the bed for her to come,
Fists clenched, legs twitching like electric wire
Storms rip from poles. He bit into his thumb,
His round cheeks glowing like the mighty fire
He’d set at dawn. His lighter’s hungry spark
Had multiplied and swarmed through yellowed brush,
Awakening the cold, abandoned park.
Watching flames rage, he’d felt his chilled skin flush.

But now his legs were cold, and it was night.
He lay sideways, not making any noise.
Mom said she wanted him to grow up right,
Not be a savage like the other boys.
If he were quiet, she’d turn down his bed.
He finally drifted off, still seeing red.

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JEFF HOLT is a Licensed Professional Counselor and the Assistant Editor of The Raintown Review. In 2012, White Violet Press published his short collection, The Harvest. Currently, Jeff has poems forthcoming in Measure and String Poetry Journal. Recently he has published poetry in Angle. Regarding textbook and anthology publications, Jeff’s poems appear in CAPE Literatures in English Poetry Module, 2012, Able Muse Anthology, 2010, A Mind Apart: Melancholy, Madness and Addiction, 2008, Sonnets: 150 Sonnets, 2005,, and others. Finally, in terms of additional journal publications, Jeff has published poetry in 14x14: The Lean Sonnet Zine, The Formalist, The Texas Review, Pivot, Cumberland Poetry Review, Rattapallax and others.

One response to “The Fire Setter”

  1. StaceyP says:

    I’ve never thought of deprivation as something electrically charged before reading this entry. You packed much power into few words. Impressive.

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