Prière: pour deux, Mon Dieu

by Timothy Murphy

Prayers for the dead crowd out prayers for the living.
Few that I’ve loved died in a state of grace,
penitent and anointed. All-forgiving
Father, let two of them behold Your face,
masters, mentors, for whom I say thanksgiving.

There is no balm in Gilead or liquor.
Blinded and driven down a seawall stair,
Robinson worshiped flame, Lord, not its flicker.
Housman, hanged for the color of his hair,
should hear no footman hold his coat and snicker.

Poets. We are addicted to vainglory.
We dread that we will live our honors out
but yearn to tell Your angels such a story,
all rise in piteous wrath and swell the rout
of those who mourn the sin of Richard Cory.