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167th Weekly Poetry Contest winner: Candle Ritual

by Che Sara Sara

At dusk, we bring wine and wood to a small caldera
in a large grass field where we sit with our own fire
to watch candles on the hillside horizon tremble into flame.
A candle for the companion horse who carries us
and one for the cow whose milk sustains us.
A candle for faceless masses who fear and pray
and one for the woman who rides with her spear held high.
A candle for the grave of the silver-haired grandmother
and one for the cradle of the golden-haired baby boy. 

A candle for the skull that protects the brain
and one for the hand that reaches for a knife.
A candle for the white cobra who kills
and one for the black snake who heals.

The hills, speckled with quivering candles,
now resemble a starlit sky, while the sky’s last light
has become the subtle purple of distant mountains.
Throw the wine on the ashes!
What surrounds us is our celebration.

Published in Crannóg

See all the entrants to 167th Weekly Poetry Contest