The glass on the wood stove often revealed a form from the fire within. Each time a form appeared

prayers were offered for a purgatorial soul in distress.

These smokey spirits were the " strangers" petitioning release from their torment.

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Jan 25Liked by Debra Esolen

What a beautiful poem! Dr. Esolen, I've been a subscriber to your Substack for several months now and I am thoroughly enjoying it but I have to say, I really love the art that you put in the poems and your reflections. You inspired me to make a "book" of autumnal poems accompanied with autumnal artwork for my sons (ages 11, 8, and 4) and I will be making a winter-themed collection very soon for them. Thank you sir!

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