Compline

by Peter Huggins

There is no grief like this,
Nothing can match it.
The falling down kind, I mean,
That comes out of nowhere,
Say, on a stroll around
The neighborhood or in the aisles
At the grocery store
Or listening to music.
I can never predict
When I might be overwhelmed.

At the end of the day, then,
I’ll offer a prayer
For grief and a prayer for joy,
For thanks at completion
That all shall be well,
That all shall be well,
That all manner of thing
Shall be well, and that you,
My daughter, 
my prodigal one, 
shall come back.

Peter Huggins is the author of seven books of poems, including the forthcoming Small Mercies. He has also published three books of fiction for children; Trosclair and the Alligator appeared on the PBS show Between the Lions. A recipient of a Literature Fellowship in Poetry from the Alabama State Council on the Arts, he taught for thirty-one years in the English Department at Auburn University.

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