Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times,
if one only remembers to turn on the light.
—Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
Searching for the light switch,
fumbling in the dark, thinking,
not again, the dark,
not again having to buck up
to face those who, with glad hearts,
would destroy so much goodness,
who would wage war on kindness
and generosity and the very earth
on which everyone walks
because they see themselves
as an “us” that does not include
so many—not this one or that one
or that whole group of ones over there,
especially not those in the dark,
who, because of the embodied dread,
cannot find the switch that would
enlighten things, that, once flipped,
might stay on for a while.
The thing is not to lose heart,
the thing is not to give in to the fear
they’re peddling, the hatred,
the thing is not to see anyone as other,
not even them.
The thing is to keep groping in the dark,
find the candle and the match
to strike against some hard surface,
watch the blue center of the tiny flame
flicker deeply within the orange,
feel its baby warmth for a bit.
But what if the match goes out?
a small voice cries.
hand them to the others
there in the darkness, too,
and strike them against
a hard place, all together,
until the shadows regenerate
into an ocean of blue flame
embedded in orange,
like the descending sun before
it pretends to sink into a cobalt sea,
that big, blazing ball of light,
which has no sense of its
which has no doubt that
it will rise again.