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.



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