Today He Lit a Candle
by Paul Hooker
Sometimes a friend adds just the right touch. Thanks, Dana Hughes, for the new final line.
Today he lit a candle and said a prayer
In the shadowed alcove of a sanctuary
the match he struck a phosphorescent globe
above a dozen votives in the tray,
wick sputtering, guttering as he lit it
and pensive blew the match out with a puff.
The passing of his breath across the candles
bestirred a breeze, and the dozen tiny blazes,
once steady, now wavered in its wake
turbulent, uncertain, as was his own
until they together straightened and anew
pursued the shadows with a more persistent light.
So do our anguished prayers unsettle others,
but everything that rises must converge.