I have been reading your better servant
George Herbert again, and I’m trying to turn
my day into prayer, praying as the toast rises
with the toaster’s tinny bell and the tea leaves
turn water into English Breakfast tea,
and praying as I slice strawberries and add
their redness to a bowl of granola.
I’m grateful this morning for this cinnamon toast
and for the local baker who made it, and for
the French word for sun and the punning name
of the bakery, and for the sun that arrived
this morning without my asking.
Soleil and Sons, Soleil and Sons, Soleil and Sons,
why not add those words to my prayer,
the glass of my watch making a small sun
of the actual sun that forks and darts
along the walls and across the ceiling, multiplying
like those five loaves, like sun and sons.
Maybe this is how Herbert’s prayer became an elixir
that carried the whole, given ordinary day
inside it, his entire body feeling
as if it could break into applause for nothing
more than the floor he swept clean for thy sake,
nothing explaining the way love took hold
on its own. And maybe I’m beginning
to get it, this keeping you near
with my words, and maybe the good news is
just saying the words over and over,
a prayer that somehow keeps gratitude
in mind even when it doesn’t.