One Way

one way perhaps to
know the person you say you
love is to see them

asleep: gone far off,
alone, their face serious
and ungenerous

but soft, directed
down at whatever consumes
their nighttime mind

whatever makes them
grimace, contort, gasp, shiver
it is not you


My mother asks me to pray
for her and my dad, and I try,
but the words won’t start. The day
is grim, the clouds a slumped pile,
only my wit’s dim flare shows
I’m, thank God, not yet dead.
But soon he will be, and snow
will come and stay in dingy heaps.
Each night the moon will grow
then wane, then begin again. It keeps
its circuit, as I nurse my dread.
Dear Lord, forgive my concavity.
Father, I submit to gravity.
Oh Lord, as above, so below.