Sand Candle

I did not buy it to
Dispel the darkness,
Nor for a small point of light
For the world to see.
But if you came
(You said you were coming,
Remember?)
You would not see
The floors without rugs,
The faded wallpaper
Watermarked in the corners
Because we could not afford roof  repairs.
You would not say,
Forty-two years old and he
Hasn’t made it yet.
No, somehow,
Magically, I suppose,
You would see the sand candle.
You would see and understand
How warm we were,
How arty, how gregarious,
And we
Would have greeted you
With open arms
Being not ashamed of
Our state of affairs.
The sand candle was
Formed with care
By a young artist, but
It was one of his lesser creations.
What a foolish gesture
It was of us, putting
So great a responsibility
On so small a light,
Foolish three times over.
I say nothing to my lady
As I blush at the thought.
Indeed it was foolishness profound.
Yet there is no need
For this painful embarrassment.
Fifteen years we waited;
The walls now have
Lovely paneling,
The floors are tiled and carpeted,
The beds sport new spreads,
There are new shingles
On the roof,
Waiting,
Waiting for the visit that
Never was.
My wife had a yard sale.
Today someone else
Bought the candle.