by Ann S. Epstein

“Dripless” the box asserts
Yet each night, wax creeps
Into the crevices between
Another pair of candle holders

Every morning I remove
The most recent residue
Before inserting the candles
Plus one, awaiting the flame

“Why not wait to clean them
Until after the eighth night?”
Asks my exasperated
Scornful child

Did my grandmother clean between days?
I know my mother did not
I know my father, had he been the candle-lighter
Would have

I know only that I must
Begin each day
Scraping away
The last one


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