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Candlelight Memories (A Poem)

By Joyce Jacobo

[Author’s Note: Dedicated to several relatives who have passed on during the last few years. A lot has happened, but their memories remain–which means a great deal.]

Tonight…                               I

                                          will light

                                           a candle

                                            just for


                                    then ask to hear

                                    all those stories

                                    family members

                                    can share about

                                    the long and rich 

                                     life that you led

   … and in each     gentle flicker

                 I will come to better know

                          memories learned in snatches

                                  before you slipped away


                                                                                  among the distant stars

Like the home you built

from its very foundations

along a forested lane so close

to relatives with whom you shared

many experiences over the course

                                                     of almost a century

                                   Or the great fall taken

                                        while you were

                                     a construction worker

                                         that you survived

                                               by a miracle

                   I know among those tales will be

                   visits taken to a family cabin deep

                    in woods far away from anywhere

                               beside a crystalline lake

                     where you helped to demonstrate

                     how to make pizza with bread

                         roasted above a campfire

                                    One account after another

                                                               from one flicker to the next

                                        until amid the dimness

                                             we will hear your merry voice again—

                                                             clear and strong

                                                                    …as the brightest memory                                                                                              of all             


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