Tag Archives: prayer

From the prayer of forgetting


From the prayer of forgetting

The shapes at the water’s edge
They are not your memories

They are the clothes of the drowned. Forgotten
Because they are no longer needed.

After a long walk through life you were tired.
You paused, hand on knee, to rest. It took

A little longer than you thought to catch
Your breath and the trees had been bulldozed

And the spiders had covered you with the silk
Of memory. I came with a single dream’s knife

And cut a slit so you could back out. Later the city
Builders saw the shape standing alone

Like a magnificent cocoon, covered
It with stone and called it a church.

Your soul comes to you
Like bees finding their hive

Assembling into shapes almost
Making sense to your eye

Defined by a sweetness it will never taste
And a sting it will not survive.

The onomatopoeia of forgot,
Regret. They sound like things

That almost are but aren’t
Solid enough to take steps

Or kneel on stone in prayer.

I invalidated a receipt once
By writing a poem on it.

No further exchange was
Necessary or authorized.

Like a cowbird I laid that egg
in the nest of your eyes

And you have raised it
Into something that flies

Away from you, recognizing
Neither of us as its maker.

The Invisible

The Invisible


Roads diminish and clarify. People disappear.
The skunk is just being himself on the edge of the dark sidewalk.

On a certain night even he can see the dog-star.
Not shaking off the weather. All last summer the stooped old lady

laid her traps and could not flush him out of hiding. All summer
I spent mornings freeing trapped squirrels and possums

before the noon sun dehydrated them. She never came out
to see and neither did the skunk in her crawlspace. Now, crossing

the road, he looks up to the house as if remembering
or as if seeing through walls and latticework: here’s a place

I could make a home beneath. Here is a place I can depart
and come back to. A place I can impart the secret:

How to disappear but never leave. How to settle in
when all you will do at this age is preparation for leaving.

I would kneel with you any hour and pray to find that place.
If we wait long enough the wind will move the invisible aside.