When I was young, I wasn’t allowed to light candles.
My father would warn me that the wax
would be too hot or the glowing flame
could burn my fingers; instead, he lit the wick.
In only a matter of seconds, it would begin to melt
and I’d sit mesmerized by the delicate drips.
As I grew in age, so did the length of the drips.
And with them, my connection to those candles
grew warmer, fonder, strong enough to melt
and mold others’ feelings made of wax;
This time I would try to light the wick.
Carefully and cautiously, I’d watch the budding flame.
Brighter, bolder, brasher grew my precious flame,
as did my protection, fearful that the drips
may extinguish the older, staler glowing wicks
of my more mature, independent candles
with their worn, dingy, lackluster wax;
I didn’t want to see them melt.
For some, it was fate to melt.
Over time, my fading attention killed their flame.
The fragile, broken and crusted wax
cooled by the chill of my neglect ceased to drip,
and slowly I lost some of my candles.
No longer viable, I’d swallow my hesitation and extinguish the wick.
Even so, others prevailed; hearty, stubborn wicks
continued to burn, desperate not to melt.
These are my most cherished candles,
reminding me the value of even the oldest, weakest flame
It doesn’t matter how long it can drip,
but the quality and integrity of the wax
The hue, shape, or scent of wax
matters not, for the strength lies in the wick.
Who do you think causes the drips?
Who controls the shape, the speed at which they melt,
revealing the central flame
of those long-lasting candles?
The wax will always melt;
the wick is left to carry the flame,
and all that remains are the drips in the shape of candles.
Author Bio: Alaina Conaway is a free-spirited, yet outspoken writer who finds solace in the deepest, most profound corners of the universe. Her focus falls on the less digestible, grittier subjects, occasionally turning towards life’s unyielding beauties. In her free time, Alaina can be found throwing pottery, making excellent coffee, and/or blasting music, belting along.