The Light has Returned (Sestina)


Beyond the pinpoint of midnight there is a light.
And within that dollop of a spark there is heat,
The flames jockeying for position on a red wick.
From a hand protrudes a slender white candle
That connects to the silhouetted body of a man
There, some unknown messenger of long lost hope.

Like Noah’s dove, he has returned holding hope.
Grasping securely onto the remains of a guiding light
Wax slides onto his fingers as he raises the bright candle,
Incandescence illuminates the hands of this man
Coalescing gently over his skin, it purges liquid heat.
A wavering glow, desperate sparks cling to the wick.

A filament pyre, colors of fire race through the wick,
Cycles of autumn re-imagine the vision of hope
And will long sought deliverance be found in this man?
Has he come that we may walk in his marvelous light?
We in darkness have dreamed of knowing heat,
But until now have had no way to light our candles.

A great and reviving jubilation exudes from the candle
An ever-changing aura of flames frolic on the wick.
The winter of darkness has been overcome by heat.
And with that warmth comes an even superior hope,
As our eyes swell with promise at this newfound light
And it draws deliberately nearer in the arms of this man.

But why would he be mindful of another man?
Who are we that he would care for our extinguished candles?
Why would he come to crown us in his light?
Yet he beckons, that we would come near to his wick.
He promises to generously share this flare of hope,
And we will be renewed by the heritage of its heat.

Carrying the fire, our own bodies will emanate his heat
Selflessly given to us by this figure much more than a man.
And from his coming, we will walk forward in hope,
Abiding in the sight afforded to us by his candle
With his offering we are captivated by the golden wick
That we may forever return with him to the city of lights.

With the consuming heat that radiates from this man
We have understood that he is our only hope and as his candle
Has lit our wicks to burning, he declares, “I am the light!”



The sun ascended early in the morning
Climbing hills and sky through a window
Breaking into dawn with golden weather
Stirring awake a child and her mother
And a new day begins in the small house
With the child finding her box of crayons

To the kitchen table she carries the crayons
Squinting tiredly at the dazzling morning
As the radiant sun lights up the tiny house
Spilling gaily in through the open window
And illuminating the outline of her mother
Remarking quietly, “what beautiful weather.”

“I wonder why we’ve had such good weather?”
She says, as the child carefully chooses a crayon
Then stops, and turns again to her mother
Still entranced by the picturesque morning
Soaking in the deep warmth by the window
“Momma,” she asks, “what color is a house?”

“Would you like to look outside at the house?
You don’t need a coat, it’s very nice weather.”
She watches her child from the window
Comparing from her box the best colored crayon
Drenched in the bright blanket of morning
Thinking how wonderful it is to be a mother

And then she began to think of her own mother
And growing up in the same petite house
When they woke early on Sunday mornings
Marching to church, regardless of the weather
But on sunny days she would leave out a crayon
That would melt from the heat on the window

And how she gazes through that same window
Imagining when her own child will be a mother
But now her child has found the correct crayon
Matching it confidently to the color of the house
As she trots back inside from the balmy weather
On a wonderful day that is still only morning

An unforgettable morning framed in the window
With extraordinary weather and a smiling mother
From a little house colored by a child’s crayons