It was a difficult climb along the steps,
dressed for the occasion.
I had to refer to the scriptures,
listen to many sermons to raise each leg.
Stuffing the unlighted torch into my mouth,
my hands were free
to reach the top.
I was forced to swallow the kerosene
and the starch cloth
almost choked me.
made my head spin.
The light was covered.
There was no way I could dip in
to the flame and light my own.
Stumbling back I almost
there was nothing to lead me to the bottom
or cushion my fall.
It was then I saw the sky
lying on my back.
The moon eclipsed.
I stared at darkness in the eye
saw the flicker of my own light
to light the entire earth
©Malintha Perera 2015