prayer for the widow of a nature lover

Today I prayed for the young woman


whose husband after a difficult illness died.


I didn’t pray for him though I have


for months, not knowing should I beg


for more time, plead for a quick release


from stranglehold of limitations


or just leave it up to God.



I cannot imagine the wife’s grief.


Never again to sit in vigil at the hospital


where he struggled in his narrow bed to breathe


to speak, to keep up hope. No more


medical opinions, desperate measures


to keep infection from a body robbed


by assaults on blood cells gone berserk


of its immunity. In future



when she wakes, if there is sun,

it will shine on places he once occupied.

Shadows will fall on hills he need no longer climb.

In case of rain, forest paths she walked with him

will be as filled with water as her eyes. At every turn

sorrow will greet her. Let it be portioned out

in decreased doses, sweetened with the season’s

first blue crocus, a returned robin singing

at her morning window. A tincture of light.