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Poem (The lump of coal my parents teased) Analysis



Author: poem of William Matthews Type: poem Views: 15

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The lump of coal my parents teased

I'd find in my Christmas stocking

turned out each year to be an orange,

for I was their sunshine.



Now I have one C. gave me,

a dense node of sleeping fire.

I keep it where I read and write.

"You're on chummy terms with dread,"



it reminds me. "You kiss ambivalence

on both cheeks. But if you close your

heart to me ever I'll wreathe you in flames

and convert you to energy."



I don't know what C. meant me to mind

by her gift, but the sun returns

unbidden. Books get read and written.

My mother comes to visit. My father's



dead. Love needs to be set alight

again and again, and in thanks

for tending it, will do its very

best not to consume us.





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