Northwords Now Issue 40

The FREE literary magazine of the North

The lantern bearer

by Richie McCaffery

For Bonfire Night we got a class of kids
to make lanterns out of sticks, paper and glue.
I even made my own, a huge lopsided angel
for a procession through town.

That night an old woman in the crowd
was so taken by the lanterns she wanted one
of her own to carry, so I gave her mine.

She lit up more than the little candle
she carried and held up high
for miles through the evening.

At the end, I said she could keep the angel
but her face twisted. She dragged it away,
thinking of finding a place to dispose of it
before her return to darkness and metered light.