Thirty five candles
on the dark coarse brick
of our own ground
they flicker and wilt
and bend with the wind
Thirty five for thirty three
and more
or less? Fewer I should say but I
cannot think
of my old grammar lessons now
they lie dead
or facing death
have bright hopes
sunny smiles and
toils and trials and heartbreak
human
that will not come again.

They
battle

and we
not knowing
stay by the guttering flames
whose wax flows idly
towards the limp piled flowers
gently dying
on the dark coarse brick
of our own ground.

There is no turning back.

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