Prairie Poetry   Peer Award Winner
  Prayer Against Leaving

At this moment
in this land called Egypt
the ardent day melts to evening

and I know I cannot live
without these woods
without the wild things

resting in the Shawnee Hills.
Quietly, humbly
they shame us

to civilization or numb murder.
And I sit here
feebly gathering evidence

that the deer wet rising
from her bed of wild rye
geese bivouacking in sedge meadows

beside an outwashed river
the kettle bottoms trilling with frogs
all are of great consequence.

I lift the night to my ear
like a dark shell and listen.
There are no right words

for solitude
for god-shot wisdom so abundant.
My aging cocker clicks

across the porch, restless.
Walk lightly friends
in this fine imperfect world

finer perhaps than the next.
Bless the owl’s blooded whir of wings.
Bless those ridiculous, lonely-sounding crickets.

  David Bond
  Copyright © 2004 David Bond
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