Five candles burn at my table.
Outside, the night wind howls like a dog
and scratches its pelt on my roof.
The wind has torn branches from the trees
and polished the evening frost until
it sparkles like eighteenth century silver.
A moth circles, sizzles, and flares.
I keep my vigil at night’s altar
and place a wrinkled palm
into the candle’s liquid flame.
Put out a candle, put out a child.
Who would put out a dog on a night like this?
Outside, playing tag between dark trees,
the wind runs wild.