Today's poem is by Andrew Miller

Benediction Ending with Stray Dogs

Lord, forgive me my love of abandoned things.
Forgive my love of stepping among the wrecks
And the ruined towns of bankrupted Aragon.

Forgive how each empty village spoke to me
In troves of echoes and how I loved the fraying
Posters that hailed ancient Hollywood movies.

Nowhere is it written that love of emptiness
Is a sin. I knelt down inside of hollow houses
And loved what was left, and stole nothing,

Leaving to the will of mold the books on the shelves,
Leaving the barren kitchens as though their wives
Had only just left them to descend to the market,

Leaving the skeleton of the hound on its leash.
A ghost in a town of ghosts, I came to understand
Your wraithlike solitude. I believed to remain

In those broken streets would make me
Silent and invisible as well and so make me part
Of that half-life of pain and sweetness I found

Before the unlocked church door: all things
Still bright below the leaded glass of nowhere.
Lord, I want to pass away (when I must pass away)

And be part of that tremor of spirit a hapless hitchhiker feels
Squatting the night in hill towns of the Pyrenees.
When that time comes, let not my soul be what

You send the dogs to chase away. That day,
Three were black, two as dirty white as clouds.
Their eyes and teeth I know were your own.

Copyright © 2016 Andrew Miller All rights reserved
from Iron Horse Literary Review
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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