The relentless ratcheting
of a solitary locust
drones from the cluster
of birch branches silhouetted
against an August moon
so bright that I can tell the colors
of rose blooms from thirty feet away;
even the lavender of the Rose of Sharon
shows against the stone pillars of the porch.
While the owl in the elm tree
sends its soundings into the stillness,
the gelding stands beneath the Bradford Pear
at the edge of the pasture,
head drooping toward the ground
in what passes for sleep for a horse.
The cat plays in the patterns
of pin oak leaves traced on the dirt,
and I sip my drink, tilt my head back
against the chair
and stare at thin traces of single clouds,
drifting through the bright shroud of the moon,
south by southeast.
How I wish that the peace of this night
could somehow soothe your heart
in the midst of this agony of betrayal and loss;
the costs of bitterness and lust,
wish that you could trust this gentle drift
of cool air sifting through the low places
of night’s long and lonely shadows.
I pray for something stronger
than a father’s words,
something closer than knowing
that the burden of your hurt
aches the hearts of those who love you;
I am crying out to our Father
for a faith you can feel
in the midst of this numbing darkness.
I am asking that the Comforter
come alongside you,
that you may be convinced
within your own aching spirit
that groanings too deep for words
have reached the very Throne of Heaven,
that you may know
peace that passes understanding
and rest in the very Heart of Christ.