Some days, although we cannot pray, a prayer
utters itself. So, a woman will lift
her head from the sieve of her hands and stare
at the minims sung by a tree, a sudden gift.
Some nights, although we are faithless, the truth
enters our hearts, that small familiar pain;
then a man will stand stock-still, hearing his youth
in the distant Latin chanting of a train.
Pray for us now. Grade I piano scales
console the lodger looking out across
a Midlands town. Then dusk, and someone calls
a child's name as though they named their loss.
Darkness outside. Inside, the radio's prayer --
Rockall. Malin. Dogger. Finisterre.
Duffy, Carol Anne. "Prayer" Scanning the Century: The Penguin Book of the Twentieth Century in Poetry. Peter Forbes, Ed. London: --Penguin Books, 1999. 494.