We Are Candles

by Joan Leotta

We are candles,
lit at birth
without knowledge of
how long we will burn brightly
here on this earth so
we must continue
giving as much light
as we can to counter this
world’s darkness
until our wick and beeswax
expire so that at our end
the aroma of our efforts
will rise up in a line of smoke
perfuming the air, still
enriching the world. 

Joan Leotta plays with words on page and stage. In addition to her ten published books, her varied writings have appeared or are forthcoming, in Ekphrastic Review, Pinesong, Brass Bell, Verse Visual, anti-heroin chic, Silver Birch, Ovunquesiamo, Verse Virtual, Poetry in Plain Sight, and othersShe is a 2021 Pushcart nominee and  received Best of Micro Fiction in 2021. In early  2022, she was named a runner-up in the Frost Foundation Poetry Competition. Her previous chapbook, Languid Lusciousness with Lemon, is out from Finishing Line Press. She is a member of the North Carolina Poetry Society, a member and area representative for North Carolina Writers Network and on the stage side of her work, member of, and as the coastal area representative for NC’s Tar Heel Tellers. Joan performs tales featuring food, family, nature, and strong women as a traditional teller and as several costumed characters. 

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