Your ancestors want to remind you
they were also citizens of dark times
a populace in the shadow seeking
the other half of the light.

They want to remind you
these are the times when you learn to give,
to take that gold ring off your finger
and slip it onto the hand of another,

times you carry the altar
you have knelt in front of
and give it to the person
who is just learning to kneel,
whose knees are learning to bend.

When you have nothing left to give,
make coffee with fresh cream
and hand it to the woman
who has been sorting your mail for decades.
There is a song in darkness,
though some days it’s a low hum
and you have to press your ear to it.
Today, we feast and talk and share.
We are the low notes, rising,

we give each other what is left,
and never turn away from grief.
We are teachers at the feet
of each other, grateful.
We will no longer guard our heart.