A Match Made in Hell

An important post on poverty from the inimitable Naomi Baltuck, a member of our core team at The BeZine.

Writing Between the Lines

Are you familiar with The Little Match Girl by Hans Christian Anderson?  It’s a tragic tale about a child trapped in a world of poverty and abuse, hunger and homelessness…

On New Year’s Eve, someone steals her ill-fitting shoes, so the little girl wanders barefoot through the snow, trying to sell matches to uncaring people hurrying home to warm houses and holiday feasts.  No one has a farthing or even a second glance for the unfortunate waif.  If she goes home having sold no matches, her father will beat her.  To keep the cold at bay, she huddles against a wall and strikes her matches, one at a time. In each tiny flame she sees visions: a warm stove, an elegant feast, a Christmas tree lit by candles…  

Then her dead grandmother, the only person who ever treated her with kindness, appears to the shivering child, and carries her soul…

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A Sane Girl’s Love Song, a poem

We need four things to survive life: bread, water, oxygen, and dreams!” Avijeet Das

after Sylvia Plath

I dreamt an Emergency Room Doc
Bewitched me into a curtained room
Put me on monitors. Left me alone
With beepers for company, sounding
The alarms of my rickety lungs.

A mix of sweet and sour, medicine on
An empty stomach. Queasy. Freezing.
Heated blanket blessings. Baptism.
Ice chips for parched lips. O2
For pulmonary fibrosis …

An arbitrary blackness had galloped in
But you sung me moonstruck with
Med-talk. Blissed me quite insane
With pharmaceuticals. Hellfire faded
And God fell to earth as an ER Doc …

Should I have loved death instead?
Embraced the light at the end of the dark.
But I grow old. I don’t remember
Your name. I shut my eyes and
All the world drops dead. But no,
I didn’t make you up inside my head.

© 2019, Jamie Dedes

Jamie Dedes. I’m a freelance writer, poet, content editor, and blogger. I also manage The BeZine and its associated activities and The Poet by Day jamiededes.com, an info hub for writers meant to encourage good but lesser-known poets, women and minority poets, outsider artists, and artists just finding their voices in maturity. The Poet by Day is dedicated to supporting freedom of artistic expression and human rights and encourages activist poetry.  Email thepoetbyday@gmail.com for permissions, commissions, or assignments.

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Recent and Upcoming in Digital Publications Poets Advocate for Peace, Justice, and Sustainability, How 100,000 Poets Are Fostering Peace, Justice, and Sustainability, YOPP! * The Damask Garden, In a Woman’s Voice, August 11, 2019 / This short story is dedicated to all refugees. That would be one in every 113 people. * Five poems, Spirit of Nature, Opa Anthology of Poetry, 2019 * From the Small Beginning, Entropy Magazine (Enclave, #Final Poems), July 2019 * Over His Morning Coffee, Front Porch Review, July 2019 * Three poems, Our Poetry Archive, September 2019

“Every pair of eyes facing you has probably experienced something you could not endure.”  Lucille Clifton