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.