The December sky is dark by 6 pm
when I help my neighbor Steve
light his luminaria candles
inside the white bags.

Mine already burn. We come to the last
unlit bag from opposite directions.
I ask about the health of his wife.
Then I go into my house, he his.

Later, after the candles are all out,
I walk back across the street to relight
one of his bags. From my living room window,
all my lights out, I stare at the glowing candle

I have lit for the friend I lost to Fox News
and the Presbyterian church.

Robert Bires, a former high school English teacher and administrator, lives in Chattanooga, Tennessee, where he writes fiction, poetry, and non-fiction. Read other articles by Robert.