Let us give

While we live

Bewildered thanks to God for what we have


That isn’t in the Prayer—

Bread isn’t central air,

And we ourselves are all He’s pledged to spare.


But what diverting sights:

The curtains and the lights,

The open windows and the screens on autumn nights;


A Sheltie and a sack

Of groceries in the back

Of an old vehicle, and new tiles in a stack


On a patio—but really, who can say?

Any day

What He has given He can take away.


Our firecrackers spark

Improbably, then flick into the dark,

But His own covenant’s as steady and as stark


As an abandoned highway, or the way

He ends the colors when He ends a day.


—Sarah Ruden

Sarah Ruden has published several books, including, most recently, The Face of Water: A Translator on Beauty and Meaning in the Bible and a new translation of Augustine’s Confessions.

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Published in the March 21, 2014 issue: View Contents
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