Fifty-two acts of devotion


The smiling.
The imagining.
The staying silent.
The not forgetting.
The wishing her well.
The writing of poems.
The capturing of skies.
The stacking of letters.
The use of sign language.
The giving and the taking.
The shrugging off of doubt.
The first thoughts of the day.
The seeing with another’s eyes.
The hearing with another’s ears.
The spotting of a magpie, or two.
The adoption of a whole lifestyle.
The creation of the flash in her eye.
The memorialising of a time of gifts.
The hanging on in the face of reason.
The assembling of a convocation of birds.
The determination not to be brought low.
The absolution of all (self-determined) sins.
The kissing of notes and other sacred objects.
The gathering and selection of images to please her.
The inability to shake himself free of such acts of devotion.
The offering of a freedom which would also contain or constrain.
The stripping from her, the rendering to him of all of her clothes.
The vigilant days spent in something approximating prayer.
The dreaming about her, a subconscious act of devotion.
The staying up late – the Midnight Office – just in case.
The wondering where she is right at this moment.
The thinking of things to say to and tell her.
The forgiveness extended to inconsistency.
The giddy searching for a perfect syntax.
The letting the ship hold to her course.
The saying of her name as he comes.
The checking of an email account.
The trying to live eagerly despite.
The maintenance of an archive.
The completion of an alphabet.
The acceptance of inconstancy.
The meting out of discipline.
The running, talaria-shod.
The last thoughts at night.
The hoping against hope.
The pocketing of a coin.
The whispering of love.
The capturing of days.
The playing of songs.
The storytelling.
The constancy.
The letting go.



3 thoughts on “Fifty-two acts of devotion

  1. This is one of the best poems I’ve read lately (and that’s saying a lot, by the way, since I’ve been devouring poetry books in order to reach my books-to-read goal for this year). The structure, the wording, none of it is forced, it’s awfully clever yet honest, wow. Just wow.

    1. Thank you, Nancy. It was written over an extended period of time (much as I like a poem / pome to come out in a whoosh, this one didn’t), so I’m particularly glad that it doesn’t read as being in any way forced.

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