Monday, 21 February 2011

Prayer by Carol Ann Duffy

Trees at Brownsea Island by Robin Dalton
Prayer

Some days, although we cannot pray, a prayer
utters itself. So, a woman will lift
her head from the sieve of her hands and stare
at the minims1 sung by a tree, a sudden gift.

Some nights, although we are faithless, the truth
enters our hearts, that small familiar pain;
then a man will stand stock-still, hearing his youth
in the distant Latin chanting of a train.

Pray for us now. 2 Grade I piano scales
console the lodger looking out across
a Midlands town. Then dusk, and someone calls
a child's name as though they named their loss.


Darkness outside. Inside, the radio's prayer -
Rockall. Malin. Dogger. Finisterre.

~Carol Ann Duffy

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