I love the flicker of flame,
the yellow light dancing
shadows on face and plate.
Let’s clear away the dishes
and bring the table back
to its pristine state: grained
wood. Now let’s talk of old
times back home when coal
fires roared and drafts ran
from dark corners, raising
hair on necks and sending
shivers down spines. It’s so
easy to believe in ghosts
when night winds howl
through windows, dogs bark
at nothing, houses are older
than families, and the land
snuggles down to sleep
in its winter blankets.
Beware of the sudden draft
on the oil lamp’s frail chimney:
cold will crack the glass, sending
us to bed by candlelight while high
on corridor walls old folk come
alive and frown down from
their sepia photographs. Cold
and frightened by their restless
afterlives, we shiver in the grave
cloths of our damp beds.

13 thoughts on “Candles

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