Little Candlestick

in Poems

 Little Candlestick

(For My Mother)

In scarcity, what bliss, brought
by the voice that com­manded it,

unmoth­er­ing mother, brave to give
lessons instead of love: this little

sil­ver can­dle­stick, bent, bruised, all
that’s left of the mod­est, old,

pos­si­bly French desk set: paper
knife, blot­ter edges, chased

with a few deep lines. I couldn’t
believe my great good fortune,

com­ing into pos­ses­sion of what
I’d never dared imagine:

orna­ments, for my school­girl words.

Years pass, her voice is stilled,
her great-granddaughters know,

only, love. Still I hoard the
bliss of scarcity, its strange


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