Ruth Fogelman

Hanuka Lights

In a silver hanukiah on the window ledge
the flame of the shamash shudders, shivers.
The second flame undulates ––
a river winding through a verdant valley.
From the third candle, thick drops dive
down to a pool of hardened wax.
Flames three and four argue ––
grandmothers bickering.
The fifth flame flickers.
Pearly drops of wax glide
down the candle’s long side ––
a skier on a snowy slope.
The sixth flame splits into two ––
Baby pulling away from Mother’s breast.
For a moment he gazes up at he
and returns to suck her milk.
Candle seven stands straight
observer of her sisters.
Eight golden flames
silent dancers in white dresses
curtsey in a row this Hanukah night.

A version of this poem appeared in Ruth Fogelman's book Cradled in God's Arms 


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