I’ve never written a note to an inanimate object, until now. This weekend Tweetspeak Poetry’s newsletter popped in my inbox with the Thank You Note challenge, to a candle, no less. I sent it to my poetry buddy Emily Conrad. She shot back this cool word-nerd tool called the NGram Viewer. You can see how the word “candle” enjoyed quite a popularity rise and fall in the historied vocabulary of books stored within Google. Apparently, candles were at an all time low in the 80’s, until Sixteen Candles.
Thankfully, they’re making a stunning comeback. Now I’m writing mine a thank you note.
Dear Soy Candle,
Your wick trembles unpretentious grace in a mason jar.
I am struck.
Two-thirds of a cup of wax sits, white congealed butter, under your
thin hot moat.
You burn long enough to give sanity and light through snow and ice,
prairie winter rain.
All your seventy-two-houred life I count flame and flicker as you singe
My guests alight to your
scent and candor.
You give us a childhood forest we never wandered but suddenly remember from
You make us stomp snow from our boot tracks, hearts melt right here on entryway floor
We gather closer.
You nuance my nose. Shivering bones dance
in my parka.
I’m tired of being cold and uninspired. I burn you regularly
on a schedule.
A calendar of scent and showing up, lingering long, looking at
life with desire.
You are the Christmas tree I can keep up ’til March, orange rind to
peel and drop
Into a pot of apple juice with curly twigs of cinnamon, allspice berries,
and grated nutmeg.
Are you swarthy vanilla drops plopped into frothy cocoa or Swedish buns,
It matters little.
You call me to pray to God in the hours given. Here
I take pleasure.