A Light Gone Dark


As Christmas Day approaches, I am remembering the holidays 12 years ago. It was our first Christmas without my dad, who had died in July.

What is it about the holidays anyway? Especially one’s first holiday season after losing a loved one? It can be so difficult. With all the violence and death in the news lately, I am sure plenty of people are struggling with their emotions as they get through this holiday season.

I wrote the poem below during my rough Christmas season of 2000. I hope that sharing it here helps at least one person who’s grieving in the face of all the jingle bells, Christmas carols, and general holiday hype.

Mom really liked this poem. I hope you will, too!

A Light Gone Dark  
by Maggie Plummer ©2000

Our Christmas lights that shine this year

Are dimmer now, no doubt.

The strong, bright star atop our tree

Has flickered and gone out.


The hot, white gleam that was the star,

That led us through the days—

His fire darkened from afar

By murky winter haze.


A chilly haze, the haze of time

The haze of growing old.

A dense and gray and foggy clime

Of illness and of cold.


It’s all OK, I know, I know

We’re really doing fine.

But it’s a void, a hole, a blow,

A black spot on the pine.


The spot was full this time last year

Of spirit and of heat.

The energetic star, no fear,

Burned high, the world to greet.


He was tough, but he was great

At channeling his powers—

At Christmastime he would create

The magic that was ours.


And so we face the holidays

Without his energy.

Without his eager, laughing ways

That mean Christmas to me.


But out there in some distant place

The star is shining still.

Merging streams of light in space

A cosmic joy, a thrill.


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Maggie Plummer is a writer and editor who lives in Polson with her black lab Peaches. She likes to write about anything and everything. In fact, Maggie has just published her first novel about an unusual topic – 1650s Irish slavery in the Caribbean. Entitled Spirited Away – A Novel of the Stolen Irish, the book is available on Amazon.com in trade paperback and Kindle editions. Find Maggie’s author page at: