Silent Night

We are sitting in Church on Christmas Eve,

the choir has begun its adagio hum of Silent Night.

Outside we hear faint sounds

of the coming and going of cars

on the one main road that goes through town.

There used to be three dove prints

perfectly greased on the window to the pulpit’s side–

broad wingspans, thinking they could fly through;

now the cold has frosted them over

and oversized snowflakes fall to herald their loss.

They are angels now,

the voices.

My youngest son grips the plastic cup and candle within—

dancing eyes transfixed by the flame.

Wax drips into something permanent,

and trying hard to steady his hand

he tilts the flame to catch in mine

thus we go down the line, to the giant eyes of my middle child; the dreaming ones of my eldest.

One by one the candles light,

the voices fade

and snow cases the ground outside.