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Poetry

Desert Litany

Desert Litany

In spite of your thirst
you gave up prayer
and wept
bowed your head
lowered your hands
put down hope
took up despair

And in despair you envied prickly pear
growing gray by day, invisible each night
or sandstone’s insensible dementia

And erased every tear
stifled hope’s breath
forgot hurt’s bite

Until one warbling figure of wren-flight
with song-sweet-spit-of-flame
claimed his domain

And released tear’s sting
set hope’s hook
hammered hurt’s spike

Until raised hands surrendered
and folded round bird, song,
trembling heart.

By markthegrey

I am a biologist, author, poet, professor, and parent. I nest in Aurora, IL with my spouse and about two to four kids.

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