The Pilot Light

By John Milton Hendricks

Three standard functions:

One: as valve
withholding the influx of gas
in wait for greater ignition at which point
the flow is directed
such as in stoves, their bodily spirits
invisibly burning
under hoods

Two: as guide
a bulb without a switch
contrived to glow while others fail
and lead the observer ahead
like out of the smoke-ridden building
thanks to exit signs

Three: as warning
of some thing about to break
announced by a sudden illumination
within the auto itself
I mean the "Check Engine" square turning red on the dash as you
          race to outwit collapse.