JH (6 September,1962 / Sydney, Australia)

By Candlelight

Sitting under a tree,
On a cold, wet summer morn,
Watching people watching
A man they loved
Being buried.
His wife and three children
Sat awake
All last night
And saw each others tears
Gently shine in a candle's light.
Its warmth comforting
The cold water from their eyes.
Its wax forming a quivering green pool
Which melts as their emotions.
The Latin suits the mood
And the lonely pigeon near-by
Stops eating the grass-seed
And also turns to watch.
The willow which covers my ground
Only stops the cool water
From touching me.
His wife throws the first handful
Down to his casing
And they all leave.
The pigeon and I still watch.
Two men quickly fill the ditch
And erect the small stone.
Before leaving, one of them pauses.
He, too, has a tear in his eye,
We all do,
Except the pigeon.
They walk away, dragging
Their shovels behind them.
A new burst of rain falls
And the pigeon flies away.

We are alone.

The light rises and burns my eyes
I read the lettering
And place my own small tribute
On the muddy patch.
I smile at him
And return to my tree
Waiting for the rain to stop.

Then I go home.

(5 October 1980)

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Maya Angelou

Caged Bird

Comments (1)

What you have seen by candleight is fragile yet everlasting. Beautiful word painting. Kind regards, Sandra