Monday, September 1, 2014

The Soul of Man is the Candle of God





“The Soul of Man is the Candle of God”


Back home and a generation later,
I wondered what plans you may have made
for a 20th birthday you would never see.

On a December night in an Ardennes foxhole,
with exploding shells alit like apocalyptic candles,
did you think of September 1st, your score of years?

I feel the soul of you in a Psalm and reach out to place a stone.
You would be 90 now. I alone am still counting,
like they counted on you. The flame is alive.

Billy, the letters you etched remain on a red brick wall,
a petroglyph on the Tremont house in Hartford,
I found nine years ago, to the owner’s surprise.

I received your posthumous high school diploma
and reread proclamations your sister pushed aside,
her passing, seven years ago, with a still open gash from your absence.

Nonagenarian, no cake, no wrapped gifts, no more loud noises
only a yahrzeit candle lit as my burnt offering to you,
a flame still burning, until mine too is extinguished.