Candles – Alaina Conaway

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.

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