They stood in the gathering gloom
ten men in the dark, then fifteen
and the stars came, one by one, from the loam
of the clouds—and they opened their prayers—

the wind carried in between eaves
as if tunneling God like a train—
the words rose and silent men swayed
and wind rose again and then fell—

prayers stayed and then strayed,
men disbanded and wandered each one
but the pitch of the sound as it rose
like a song, between gathered stones

and the stars, stayed where the men prayed
cold and alone and in a crowd
and the eaves stayed when the men had gone
whispering their own song.

The Image archive is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts.

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