Saint Lucia’s Day

Inside, breathing branches sprout from oak pews.

Fireflies, misplaced in December’s frost, beam in the distance,
beckoning small raving robotic feet towards them.

Apprehensive proud faces, normally high but now low,
guide a row of bobbing robins to a prearranged nest.

A jig, a gallop, and sometimes a lilt, followed and not understood,
around a taciturn pony, small in stature with a vivid coat.  He
cannot hold them forever.

Wide-eyed descendants bereft of blood ties shoulder ancient
symbols: a straw goat laced with red ribbon, rounds of rye stacked
on a blood orange wooden pole, and cotton porridge piled high
in a brass pot.

Weighty and faded gilt stars rise high in the air, reflecting the
prayers of the public who witness their passing with quiet
anticipation.

Wavering flames encased in snowballs, cracked with crystal,
herald the beginning of the end.  Modest though they are, they
too will lead us out of winter shadows.

Massive wooden doors gingerly part to reveal burning saffron
crowned in youth’s ephemeral glow and a rill of fire flows
through the tabernacle.

White wax engages in a one-sided game of tag with the star
swan’s vulnerable neck, hoping to summon it and its brethren
towards the tendrils of Spring’s solace.

Outside, snow falls against scarlet gates.

 

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