Candles: A Poem

When the sadness hits

I light candles in our apartment.

They flicker like birthday candles

For the years I might not see

If the pills,

If life,

Are stronger than me.

But sometimes the candles are like fireflies

Like mason jar lanterns,

Like hope.

The candle wax drips onto the bookcase

And I promise I will clean it up later

Because there will be a later.

I’ve been in this thing so long

I wear it like a blanket,

Something that whispers to me

And I believe it.

People call it darkness,

They call it hard times.

But it really is

A drug, a habit, an imbalance.

I watch the candles burn

Like tiny fires

And I write.

I watch the candle wax drip

And I promise I will clean it up later

But for now, I write.

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Which stands on the traditional territory of the Huron-Wendat, Haudenosaunee, and Anishinabek Nations, and the Mississaugas of the New Credit First Nation.