Soleil & Sons
I have been reading your better servantGeorge Herbert again, and I’m trying to turnmy day into prayer, praying as the toast riseswith the toaster’s tinny bell and the tea leavesturn water into English Breakfast tea,and praying as I slice strawberries and addtheir redness to a bowl of granola.I’m grateful this morning for this cinnamon toastand for the local baker who made it, and forthe French word for sun and the punning nameof the bakery, and for the sun that arrivedthis morning without my asking.Soleil and Sons, Soleil and Sons, Soleil and Sons,why not add those words to my prayer,the glass of my watch making a small sunof the actual sun that forks and dartsalong the walls and across the ceiling, multiplyinglike those five loaves, like sun and sons.Maybe this is how Herbert’s prayer became an elixirthat carried the whole, given ordinary dayinside it, his entire body feelingas if it could break into applause for nothingmore than the floor he swept clean for thy sake,nothing explaining the way love took holdon its own. And maybe I’m beginningto get it, this keeping you nearwith my words, and maybe the good news isjust saying the words over and over,a prayer that somehow keeps gratitudein mind even when it doesn’t.
Copyright © 2017 by Robert Cording
All rights reserved.
Reproduced by Poetry Daily with permission
Robert Cording is professor emeritus at College of the Holy Cross. He has published eight collections of poems, the most recent of which is Only So Far (CavanKerry Press, 2015). New work is out or forthcoming in The Georgia Review, New Ohio Review, The Hudson Review, Image, and The Common.
Salamander is a literary organization that publishes a biannual magazine of poetry, fiction, memoir, and works in translation. It was founded by Jennifer Barber in 1992 with the aim of publishing a generation of writers reaching artistic maturity and deserving of a wider audience alongside new work by established writers. In addition to the magazine, Salamander sponsors events and readings in the Boston area and in New York. Salamander came to Suffolk University in the fall of 2005 and receives ongoing support from the University. Housed in and published from Suffolk's English Department at 73 Tremont Street in Boston, it is distributed nationally. Its annual fiction contest, judged by prominent short story writers and novelists, began in 2010.