by Carol Anny Duffy
Some days, although we cannot pray, a prayer
utters itself. So, a woman will lift
her head from the sieve of her hands and stare
at the minims sung by a tree, a sudden gift.
Some nights, although we are faithless, the truth
enters our hearts, that small familiar pain;
then a man will stand stock-still, hearing his youth
in the distant Latin chanting of a train.
Pray for us now. Grade 1 piano scales
console the lodger looking out across
a Midlands town. Then dusk, and someone calls
a child’s name as though they named their loss.
Darkness outside. Inside, the radio’s prayer –
Rockall. Malin. Dogger. Finisterre.
1. Minim - noun the smallest unit of liquid measure, 1/60 of a fluid dram, roughly equivalent to one drop. the least quantity of anything. something very small or insignificant
2. Cape Finisterre is a rock-bound peninsula on the west coast of Galicia, Spain. In Roman times it was believed to be an end of the known world. The name Finisterre, derives from the Latin finis terrae, meaning "end of the earth".( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cape_Finisterre 10-6-21)
3. Rockall - an uninhabitable granite islet situated in the North Atlantic Ocean. Malin, a town in Ireland,; Dogger, reference to Doggerland, an area submerged under the North Sea that once connected Britain to Europe.