Barry Seiler lives in a small mountain town in the Catskills with his wife and four cats. He has published four volumes of poetry. His most recent, Frozen Falls, was a finalist for the Paterson Poetry Prize.
I keep misplacing the anniversaries,
So I say today and buy one at the market
Around the corner. It takes three swipes
For the scanner to get the price.
It’s true a candle in a glass can’t suffice
To settle accounts with the dead.
Yet each year my mother burned them for hers
To balance the books the generations keep,
Placing them on a counter in the kitchen.
And when the candle had thoroughly burned,
She soaked the glasses and washed them,
Practical to the last, and used them to serve
The juice I drank each morning for my bones.
*A yahrzeit candle (also spelled yahrtzeit candle) is also called a memorial candle, which translates to soul candle in Hebrew and in Yiddish it translates to anniversary candle. It is lit in memory of the dead in Judaism. It can burn up to 26 hours. (Wikipedia).