Candles come out a couple of days
After Thanksgiving Day—the four
Circled for Advent; others, too,
Thick, green, spruce-scented—and erase
The memory of darkness more
Effectively than tree lights do.
They lift their inarticulate fires
Toward heaven, the way the world desires
What prayers, at best, can half express.
One lithe flame dances, yellow-gold,
Shimmering on sure sapphire feet . . .
But it’s brief, this forgetfulness!—
Not much against the dark and cold,
Like food the hungry never eat,
Like broken peace, souls shrunk to parts.
Thus, candles burn, and Christmas starts.