Lanterns in the Rain

A sad,  soggy,

cloudy night

marked the day

of your departure.

Your leaving

like a kiss my skin

was too numb

to feel.

We placed the lanterns

around the boat

and tied them

as the elders taught us.

Your folded hands

were clasped over the

black orchid

and the

white rose,

a gift for

the grizzled Gate-man


his loving wife.

With a gentle push

and a soft splash of

water against wood,

we set you adrift.

The lanterns danced

on the ripples,

as you once danced

with me.

And we watched you

slip into the current’s

waiting hand.

The lanterns

soon stopped their dance

and followed,

bright and solemn,

like young novices in white

bathed in the glow of

a temple’s sacred fire,

their simulated shades of sunlight


on the thick, twisty ribbon

of ebon water.

Even the night wood ceased

its chattering to give you

a moment of

silent, solitary honor.

And we, left on the banks,

your lovers and friends,

enemies and strangers,

marked how you changed

our lives


And as the sailing bier

rounded the riverbend,

and you were

forever lost

to  sight,

With a gentle shower

the sky cried our tears for us.

And in the rain,

the lanterns’ lights

hissed and faded, extinguished now,

like you,

unable to be renewed,

And the light

came back to us

and took shelter

in our hearts, and warmed them

once again

with thoughts and memories

of you, through the years,

shining bright,


against a

starry sky,

like a


set on a

high and windy


© Alfred W. Smith Jr.  2015

Author: smithaw50

I live in NJ. Concentrating now on a getting a full time writing career started. Glad you could be with me on the journey. Ready? Here we go...

3 thoughts on “Lanterns in the Rain”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: