When the priest raised the Host: a bell.
Even far back in the unfamiliar cathedral
I heard it comfort us.
To me the incense smelled like the inside
of an old Baptist piano.
I know the same words
but they live in me differently.
Kneel, stand, sit: I offered my grief clumsily.

On this winter night across the dark
fallow fields: my neighbor’s light.
No words, only a presence,
a certain trust, an understanding
that in this uncertain cold
we will not let each other freeze.

I know this without pledge or creed.
The smoke from his wood stove
drifts toward me.
I hear his horse paw the frozen earth
beneath the listening stars.