Hanukkah Poem and Book News

“candle” by ndrwfgg is licensed with CC BY 2.0. To view a copy of this license, visit https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Tonight is the first night of Hanukkah 2020. I am not Jewish, but am appreciating a little surprise gift all the same – a layout draft of my poetry book, Old Stones Understand, with some graphics and the fonts chosen by my editor at Shanti Arts Publishing! As many times as I’ve read, revised, and viewed these poems, the experience brings a freshness that I wasn’t expecting. That surprise was invigorating.

Yesterday, my mother reminded me of a poem I’d written that is in the collection, which should be out in Spring 2021. Back when I wrote it, she tucked a copy of it in a card for her friend, Marlene, who lives in her building and celebrates Hanukkah. I hadn’t known that she did that, and thought it was a sweet reminder that we never really know how far, or where, our words can reach. I thought sharing it here would be a nice gift for those of you celebrating. Enjoy!

One vial of oil

If one vial of oil
can last for eight nights,
endure and light
and fill hearts
for seven extra days of hope –
well then, how long
can one shred of patience last?

How little space is needed
on a ledge,
for one toe to grip,
to hold the rest of me safe
until I can gather strength
to push off
to the next ledge,
and the next
and the next?

What if
the match that I am, nearly burned down,
charred, curled, almost no light left,
what if at the last possible second
I brush against one dry twig
that smolders,
flickers
and then bursts into the biggest
warmest
grandest
blaze of all?

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