by Michael Schmidt
When I cannot believe,
The brown herds still move across green fields
Into the tufty hills, and I was born
Higher, where I could watch them as a bird might.
When even memory seems imagined, what
Can I bring to prayer? A pair of knees.
The great faith that built a stair to heaven
As now my memory tries to climb a hill,
Becomes an old stone building, a deaf priest
Whose hand is in the pockets of his parish,
Who longs to buy a bell he'll never hear.
The water in the font is cold, I trace
A circle on my brow and not a cross.
Last updated July 18, 2021