Several years ago, when I first arrived in Santa Fe, I met a man who loved poetry even more than I and we spent more than a few evenings reading to each other. He introduced several poems to me, including this one by William Stafford, which has a bit of melancholy woven through its beauty. My friend made a copy for me to take home. Yesterday, while rummaging through loose bits of poetry, I found it and decided to share it with you: Christmas in its tone, but timeless in its question.
When they light the candles a little propeller
turns the angels around and around.
They are of gold, of thin metal,
with a trumpet held in front of each mouth,
And a sound that comes when a tiny chain
drags across a silvery chime.
Flecks of light dance on the ceiling
from figures that gleam as they pass the flame.
That sight, that sound, that warm candle
shine through the years. You look out the window:
What are you doing with the years that shine
around and around when the angels come?
~ William Stafford