“Light,” Ensign, July 1988, 64


Honorable Mention

The lampglow

on my daughter’s blonde hair

forms a halo

where she reads across the table,

the grain of oakwood between us

spiraled like galaxies and polished

to hold the light.

To hold the light

in these late hours we have our lamps

and books. She reads from a New Testament

and I from The Art of Rembrandt,

his paintings have drawn me

by their use of light and shadow:

Aristotle, Christ, Jacob Blessing

the Sons of Joseph—always

the light coming from the right,

“… man’s more sacred side.”

“Man’s more sacred side.”

Is that what we fail as we hurl ourselves

through life? In the portraits

of Rembrandt, the light honors

what is human and what is God-like,

accepting a place where they meet,

his later biblical paintings

all completed, uncommissioned,

out of his own need.

Out of our own need,

in this Sabbath between the closing leaves

of prayer plants and the pale

blossoming of sleep, we read,

my daughter and I,

finding again the Word …