Prayer by James Cacos

Now I lay me down, dipping into the annals, 
a ship’s log of a sea journey.

Portrait of my soul, or a wry peek
at the meteoric rise and fall of a middle-aged champion
bearing witness at the stations of his cross.

Baring all, don’t you know, for the bare necessities, 
(all my trials and a few extensive pleasures)
to find only that it’s really a matter of leaving
time enough for that second that is upon me 
time enough for one sublime bird to alight, 
for me to take notice as the bird takes hold
of that branch on that tree.

– The bird, my attention tells me,
is like a word on a page, or a curved line on a canvas,
or the smile of the woman across the hall.

JAMES CACOS earned a B.A. In French from Yale University and an M.A. in English from The Bread Loaf School of English at Middlebury College. He taught at Landmark College in Putney, Vermont for twenty-five years, retiring in 2011. He lives in Santa Barbara, California.

© Maximus Magazine 2022

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