POETRY: Evening Prayer by Scott Cairns

Evening Prayer Scott Cairns

And what would you pray in the troubled midst
of this our circular confusion save
that the cup be taken away? That the chill
and welling of the blood might suffer by His
hushed mercy to abate, to calm the legion
dumb anxieties as each now clamors
to be known and named? The road has taken
on, of late, the mute appearance of a grief
whose leaden gravity both insists on speed
and slows the pilgrim’s progress to a crawl.
At least he’s found his knees. I bear a dim
suspicion that this circumstance will hold
unyielding hegemony until the day.

What would you pray at the approach of this
late evening? What ask? And of whom?

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