Oil for a Day — Poem for Hanukkah

Oil for a Day           

This little holiday
is puffed up, stretched thin,
Gumby-distorted
to fit its
fat Bethlehem brother
(though that’s been twisted, too,
beyond anything like a manger
by the appetite
of every culture
to lick its lips on Saturnalia).

But oil for a day …
which lasts for eight
is what we all long for.

Somehow
the enough of me –
courage of rebels in the hills,
courage in the face of chemo,
or loss,
or a man with heavy fists,
or depression that comes
and sits down on the face
like desecration
in a sanctuary —

will win freedom
and be remembered
by the spinning of children
and by this menorah
that is my life —
eight candles and Shamash,
a guardian of the light.

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One Response to Oil for a Day — Poem for Hanukkah

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