> The Poetry of Luther Jett: Prayer for America


For All of This

(A Prayer for America)





Publication History





For all the tracks of stones
leading from there to now,
all the broken sacraments and lost desires;
for the candle set on the window-ledge,
and all the little boats
floating, red, on the bay,
and the golden meadow sun;
for the long end of the short stick;
for the path in the terebinth woods
and the mome raths that outgrew their ends;
for the words I wrote in nights of ice,
and the coming home of crows
in the tumult of the morning;
for the conductor singing and the little child,
the wife on her way to work,
and the unsuspecting angel cowboy rider
as he stakes his claim
where the land opens up and the hills run like water;
for the road, for the road,
and for the singing of it;
for the bamboo swaying before the sky,
and the hole that was, and the hole to be;
for the sudden attack at dawn of spyders,
the alley waste, the boulevard expense;
for the fulcrum of moment in prism heat,
and for the long, cool shades of the evening;
for the girl vanishing in her white cotton dress,
the distant mingle of glasses and laughter;
for the firefly derelict's dreaming,
and the banker's midnight tears;
for the ponies grazing on the white atlantic sands,
the wild bay facing orient, and all
the aching space between them, never fully silent;
for my morning and my evening star;
for your hand on my forehead,
the clarity of your voice, and the warmth
of your thighs that I will not forget
even when all that I have known or touched
has been dashed to atoms on the cliffs of time;
for all of this -
for breathing - all of this
and coming into port at last from my great sea-journey,
with tail-wind filling sail and all
of this before me


Originally published in Middle Class Review, 1998.

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