Dedicate an hour each day to crying.
Cry as the sky cries, nor for yourself,
but for those who die hungry
and alone. Be the hand reaching toward
the old man who wraps a cardboard sheet
around himself each night when he settles
in a shop doorway to sleep.
He was once young like you.
Dedicate an hour each day to prayer.
Pray like the leaves when wind blows branches bare,
a scattering on the ground,
a dying season. Gently press the dahlias’ twisted limbs
into their sand beds and cover them over with dirt,
this hope the earth will love them for their bright colours
as you did and shelter them until spring.
Dedicate an hour each day to silence.
Be the wind when it falls still, the echo
returning home. Close doors softly behind you
and walk into the world as if you belong there.
Place your ear against the jigsaw puzzle trunk
of the two hundred year old pine in your back yard
and listen. It was once young like you.