Spark by Valerie Parente

I didn’t need the unequivocal reciprocation from the stars
to feel that motivating spark
all I needed was a feeling
then I ran like the wind.

Nothing mutual was necessary when I decided to run
I felt compelled and that was enough
ambivalence nor rejected mattered
I ran, and rewards came after.

That path was everything because that path was my point of view
I ran a marathon not because the stars told me to
but because they lit up the dark
even when I could not.

Something beautiful happened during those simple, naive days
I didn’t realize, but I won before the end of the race
I aimed to be like the stars early on
but that spark was in me all along.

– Valerie Parente (7-11-2021)

No Longer Playing With Fire

No Longer Playing With Fire by Valerie Parente

She was playing with fire
for so long
so she wasn’t really sure
how to stop
igniting flames out of pain
to create art
making a hellscape from words
that came from the spark
but now that the hell she felt
is dead and gone
and it’s time for learning
in the place she taught
because when she was in pain
she felt smart
but now that there’s joy
she’s a little lost
no longer playing with fire
to light up the dark
maybe one day at a time
is a good start
leaving the ashes behind
along with the scars
because the spark has returned
to where it belongs
and no fire will run wild
for it’s safe in her heart.

– Valerie Parente (3-14-2021)