The Lantern


Do you see that lantern on the mantle?

Its light has shined on three generations of this family.

My grandfather learned to read under the tutelage of its glow;

Wrote love letters to my grandmother in verse reflecting

The warmth gathered from its flickering beam.

My mother found her way home through lost woods

To the arms of my Da, and on the night I was conceived

It lent its sexuality.

Bright and slightly hesitant, still it burns, weaving moonbeams

Like silver threads through the tapestry of our lives.

Illuminating through the years, it has lit my tears and

Calmed my fears; beneath its flame we all found ways to heal,

To bind up old wounds; to celebrate new beginnings, while keeping

Vigil as loved ones passed away.

One day I’ll pass it down to my children now crawling on the ground

And in its light they’ll learn to see within themselves, beyond themselves.

I take it down and light it whenever I am consumed by darkness; it watches

Over me and comforts me; reminds me that there are so many ways

To become illuminated.

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