She wears candles for eyes when sleep welcomes her home
Not for rest, not for slumber, but to dream all alone
Flames flicker and dance in the darkness of night
Eyes shut against it but wide open with fright
The shadows of thought play out their ploys
With deft calculations; her silence hears noise
Sorrows and fears fall unbidden like tears
Just beads of wax pooling into her ears
Dark human shapes act out their devices
By the light of two candles they raise sacrifices
The horrors of nations, of a friend, of a stranger
Keep telling their story to shed light on danger
For isn’t that what my mind’s trying to do–
Keep me prepared so I don’t succumb too?
“Stop it!” I scream. “I don’t want what you’re off’ring!”
I cap the candles, but their hats they keep doffing,
And clearing their throats, they take a new tack
For fear of the other isn’t all they hijack:
“Up next in tonight’s horror show, if you please:
Your restraints all set free, for we hold here the keys.”
In an instant the decent in me turns profane
I’m watching myself, but I can’t hear my name
I awaken, my voice hoarse from stifling sobs
Nothing happened, I’m safe from the violent mobs
So why am I drenched in the battles of night?
And why can’t I breathe? My chest feels too tight
“I’m Hitler. I saw them. I signed all the orders.
No, wait. I helped them: sneaked kids across borders.”
Grasping at comfort, I find no relief
For nothing is wrong. I was only asleep
I plead with my God to let me move on
My children need me with the coming of dawn
Still shaken by dreams so strong that I woke
They’re just molded wax, but my head’s filled with smoke
And burning within my rent soul still glow
The snuffed out wicks of a dreamer who knows.
The hyperlinked song is by The Avett Brothers. Titled “True Sadness,” I feel nothing but hope when I listen to its truth. I first heard it while driving the scenic way home from Windsor to Loveland. It seared into memory a Colorado sunset that I will forever treasure. Its title, words, and message, when blended with the image of a blue that yearns to be gold* reminds me that not all sadness is cause for mourning. Sadness may accompany the ending of day and yet speaks of beauty in pain and of hope for a brighter tomorrow.
*When I find it among my stored things, I have a painting from my sister of the “blue that yearns to be gold,” a term she coined from watching Colorado skies when we were teens [feel free to correct me, sis.]