Incendiary by Linda Imbler

Barbie dolls and G.I. Joe’s,
Matchbox cars, colorful Legos,
All lost to the house going up in flames

Please don’t light the match.

She will always take the blame,
Protect the children’s lives,
Today’s surprise
An empty box, no ribbon tied,
I know what’s mine

Please don’t light the match.

The fault lies outside these walls,
Gaslighting to best effect,
Decisions in his hands,
He criticizes, puts her down,
Alibis runs dry,
There’s much to do, so she can’t see you,
Must not answer the phone

Please don’t light the match.

Stay in this house alone,
Keep the peace for them,
Too late, she’s found that
Nerve that twangs
After he last harangues,
Being ignored would’ve been so great

Please don’t light the match.

Too late, better this way,
Hold the kids and watch it catch.

Linda Imbler
Linda Imbler is the author of the published poetry collection “Big Questions, Little Sleep.” Her work has appeared in numerous journals. Linda’s creative process and a current, complete listing of sites which have or will publish her work can be found at This writer, yoga practitioner, and classical guitar player lives in Wichita, Kansas.

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