It was midday before we noticed it was morning.
The boy cousins brought us a tray—soup and cheese,
warm soda, and a soft cloth and candy for her fever.
They wouldn’t come in, the tray weighing between them.
They stood like woodwork inside the door frame.

By afternoon the old procession—silence at the lip
of a dozen night travelers tired and grieving, one
by one, or pairs floating to the bed and back
with a touching of hands like humming,
and the one we gathered for slipping farther

for all the good we could do. She lay in her shadow.
She looked to no one. Her daylilies bobbed wide
open out in the wild, blue sun and the same bee
kept nosing her window to reach them.
Dusk: even the boys were back watching it try.

  • David Baker, “Faith” from After the Reunion. Copyright © 1994 by David Baker. Reprinted with the permission of the University of Arkansas Press, www.uapress.com.

  • Source: After the Reunion (University of Arkansas Press, 1994)

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