The Lamps by Mary Oliver

Lighting the candles in my kitchen…My own little evening ritual, so comforting, signalling the end of a day- long or short, easy or hard…

candles

This poem by brilliant Mary Oliver always comes to mind:

Eight o’clock, no later
You light the lamps,

The big one by the large window,
The small one on your desk.

They are not to see by—
It’s still twilight out over the sand,

The scrub oaks and cranberries.
Even the small birds have not settled

For sleep yet, out of the reach
Of prowling foxes. No,

You light the lamps because
You are alone in your small house

And the wicks sputtering gold
Are like two visitors with good stories

They will tell slowly, in soft voices,
While the air outside turns quietly

A grainy and luminous blue.
You wish it would never change—

But of course the darkness keeps
Its appointment. Each evening,

An inscrutable presence, it has the final word
Outside every door.

Mary Oliver “The Lamps” ( Twelve Moons, 1979)
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2 thoughts on “The Lamps by Mary Oliver

  1. Pingback: Mama’s Comfort Book Pile | Sunflowerous Days

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