By Florence Newman
All year we’ve banked the embers of our rage
and gathered brittle bitterness and grief,
stacked cords of hardened sorrows high to feed
the bonfire built against the darkening days.
Tonight a fiery feast at last repays
our abstinence; upon the pyre we heave
our heartache, the sacrifice we bleed,
bottomless libation, offering to the blaze.
Cast in the broken hopes, the stifled sighs,
recriminations, doubts, defeat, despair,
the fruit of many seasons, grimly grown.
Fill up the void with self-deceit and lies,
with unshed tears, unspoken pain and care,
and beat the drum until the very depths resound.