Little Altars Everywhere – James Crews

There are little altars everywhere
in the world, places where you can
lay down your suffering for a while.
Hollowed-out oak trunk by the forest trail
where you leave acorns and pine cones
and worries you’ve gathered on a cushion
of moss, whose patience softens everything.
Or the bench at the busy intersection
where streams of people crossing the street
parted around you, and you fell in love
with each of them—the men in suits, babies
strapped in strollers—and left your fear
crumpled there like a useless receipt.
Or the shelf where you keep the box
of your mother’s ashes next to an electric
candle that flickers day and night, how you
give your grief to the yellow glow of that
false flame over and over, knowing
that even the plainest of light can be
enough sometimes to hold your pain.