Play With Matches ~ Lilah Clay


I woke up this morning

to Spanish moss hanging from the chandelier.

While I’d been asleep

pepper vines had snuck in the back window

headed for the library,

and scarlet larkspur gathered around

to mourn your old shoes

in the closet.


The outside became curious of the inside.

What do humans do in these houses?


Downstairs, bushes of coyote mint

found the light switch,

and terrorized circuitry

like a club in Dublin.


Hummingbird sage guarded the fire place

while a cluster of trembling poppies

tried to strike a match

like a skinny lot of librarians

having a go at a criminal record.


And there I was scolding plants

in my pajamas before 8 a.m.

or a proper cup of coffee.

Is this what happens to me without a dog

or children?


The wilderness invites itself in

to play with matches,

while I frantically decide which

item of furniture I don’t mind

having covered in foliage, flowers,

roots, shoots, and dirt

and renamed as the Time Out Chair.