I see my years engrave themselves into lines on your palms; I’m stretched thin but your eyes only see delicacy. You hold your hands, and me, close to your chest, with urgency you think I wouldn’t feel, but I’m too close to home to turn a deaf ear. Your fire rumbles within, I listen, and you cast me away with a flare.
You pull me even closer, you ignite even brighter, until you’re all ashen, until my lines widen. I wear you out, and you lie.
You lie about the cold; about burning for me and burning me, about keeping me in your extremities when I’m well-worn in your core, about winter; the fact that it exists, that it’s out of your hands, and that the cold was the enemy. The seasons shift for you, the wind bows and cedes. Your fire was never winter-bound.
You’re my 56 years of oak, and I’m your favourite 24 lines.
To my father, who is too stubborn to admit that I’m basically a heavily-diluted version of him.