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THE CANDLE OF THE NIGHT

Kalyan George

‘Come, my son.’
The old man
Guided the young figure
Inside their small abode.

As his frail hands
Moved gracefully
The boy’s eyes glinted
As fire came to life.

A candle, lit.
Just like every night
A flame of hope
A beacon of dreams

From the wisp of smoke,
He saw the lights if the city
Buildings that led up to heaven
Treasures at the end of the rainbow

In the faint light,
The old man gave a tired smile
As the jewel of his world
Worked, head down.

Each night, a race against time
As the words his boy read
Waded into the darkness
As fire became a puddle of wax.

He was of the village
His blood, sweat, and tears
Blessed the barren land
Got them through, day by day

He told his boy
Stories of a distant land
Of castles and palaces
Where money grew on trees.

The land of happiness,
He called it.
It was there
His boy would go.

Summer, however had other plans
The sun beat down mercilessly
The earth lie parched
Cracked and empty.

The old man,
Broken, but not destroyed
Moved heaven and hell
For a candle for his boy.

As dusk approached
They barged in, demanding money
He fell to his knees,
Begging for mercy

A flash of blades,
Crimson red decorated
The dirt floor
Screams and then silence.

The boy, frozen with fear,
Emerged from the shadows of safety
Obedient to his father’s last command:
‘Hide.’

In lifeless hands, lay a candle
For the first time, he gave life to it
A flame that would burn throughout the night
His father, leading him on, to the land of happiness.


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