A Taper’s Task

by Joan Leotta

With my trademark, tapered cylindrical shape, I am sturdy in the bronze candlestick holder inherited from my grandmother and mother. Each day, a small sulfur stick lights me after the sun runs away, so I can light my household. They stay up late with me reading. My light reflects in their eyes until they can march off to bed. As I give to them, I melt and swirl into smoke, disappearing bit by bit. Yet, I am content, for I know that in transforming myself, I have transformed darkness into light.


Joan Leotta plays with words on page and stage. She is an author, poet, story performer and playwright. Her work has appeared in many journals, magazines and papers.