guardian of the lost,
I light a candle, pray for you --
not because I believe,
but because I am helpless.
Telling you I understand is cheap.
Instead I make a wish, light my worry
from another worry's flame --
burn wax and wick, my plea
reduced at last to soot
in a bed of sand, hoping
for saint or god or angel's wingspan
wide enough to shelter flickering souls.
Sarah Russell has returned to poetry after a career teaching, writing and editing academic prose. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Kentucky Review, Misfit Magazine, Red River Review, Ekphrastic Magazine, and Black Poppy Review, among others. More poems at www.SarahRussellPoetry.com.