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Shakespeare and Company, Paris.

       Night Prayer by Sally Read


Don’t think the night’s all deadness—there are wells

of light and dark, and many kinds of silence. Tonight


the snow breathes light and three large hares, white


on white, are munching left-out carrots, lolloping trails


of nothing in a silky, new-ink silence. It’s the silence


of how your hair would sound when it rises on your scalp.


It wakes the hermit; that and the beating heart of Christ


that pushes through the night like a boat through


brackish waters. There is no chapel-bell, no tramping march


of monks. Just one mind in the wooden room, apiece


with the fresh-ink hush. Thoughts are indivisible


from prayer; speech inseparable from silence and his heart


which echoes endlessly with what God spoke. He rises.


The snow-light seethes around him, like insomnia or love.

Pre conversion poetry collections

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