Lantern Burns More Brightly in the Night

LanternTonight, I fill my lantern full of oil
To keep it burning brightly through the night,
Though sometimes sputters in drafty home….
Still the only light within the house.
When war comes, as it always does,
Refuse to hang blackout curtains
Nor blow out lantern after dark.

There may be those lost at sea
Who might see bright light within a storm,
Use lantern’s light to guide them
Toward a safer shore or harbor.

Others find their only shelter
In darkness of the night,
Afraid a light might be a sign,
A threat or harm to life…..
They pass until my little light
Cannot be seen as it disappears
While they drift away— no rudder,
No sails, no anchor against their fear.

Now, standing at the window
I see no silhouette but for the trees,
Standing there against the evening sky.
Calm breathing quiets restless heart.
In silence of the house, I hear better….
Though no one speaks or moves about.

Again tonight, as with every night,
I offer prayer to those who may be lost,
Then hang the lantern from high beam,
Close by three windows in the room.
Thank God my little lantern is not
The only light so brightly burning.


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