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Pray for Belief

Text of Poem

The horrendous voice of headlines
day after day repeats the shrill oracle
I consult for the inner man. No
story’s cry from the front page can
outlive the sound’s shape twisting
like smoke from the rocky lips of
my own fear. No bizarre crime, rape,
incest, assault, murder, footsteps
in the night, the forced door, gag,
missing person passes the limits
of what I have seen, felt, heard and
committed in the shadowy caves of my
own dungeons. But this morning, after
a night’s vigil, I look through the eye
of the window into a world of sunlight,
salute from neighbors, children racing,
birdsongs, green lawns, jostling schoolgirls,
my wife in her garden, all
orderly, friendly, attentive to the
demands of the day’s expectancies,
the celebration of being awake in a
familiar place. It takes faith (pray
for it) to believe if this view is counterfeit
there must be the genuine.

Original Pub Location
Original Publication Date
Original Citation
Planting Red Geraniums: Discovered Poems of James Hearst. Final Thursday Press, 2017. 30.
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Permission to reproduce work from the James Hearst Papers has been granted by the Special Collections Department of the University of Iowa Libraries.

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