I wondered about you when you told me never to leave a box of wooden, strike-anywhere matches lying around the house because the mice
might get into them and start a fire. But your face was absolutely straight when you twisted the lid down on the round tin where the matches, you said, are always stowed.
Who could sleep that night? Who could whisk away the thought of the one unlikely mouse padding along a cold water pipe
behind the floral wallpaper gripping a single wooden match between the needles of his teeth? Who could not see him rounding a corner,
the blue tip scratching against a rough-hewn beam, the sudden flare, and the creature for one bright, shining moment suddenly thrust ahead of his time—
now a fire-starter, now a torchbearer in a forgotten ritual, little brown druid illuminating some ancient night. Who could fail to notice,
lit up in the blazing insulation, the tiny looks of wonderment on the faces of his fellow mice, onetime inhabitants of what once was your house in the country?
I posted this before, but I like it. Collins has written a number of poems I like. This came up last week in the barbershop when the new guy mentioned that one of our neighbors just sold a new book. A book of poems, if you can believe that. She wondered, "who buys poetry?" and it was a valid wonderment because, nobody buys poetry. Still, it's nice to see it is still practiced, in the dark, behind a tree, away from anybody who could see it in effect and criticize it to death.
I brought this to mind after reading the poem that featured the use of Home. I wanted something else to steer by as I go to bed. This will do in a pinch.