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A Love Prayer By An Unbeliever

By Royal Rhodes

PROMPT — What is Love?

Help me see the stars, remembered fire,

seraphic furnaces that showed our fault,

when chance or fate, or even our desire,

was writ across the vast galactic vault.

Have I been loved? Or was it love I loved,

not well or long, and leaving not one trace?

But in each love my knotted heart was moved.

The constellations shine with your lost face.

I let my footsteps lightly touch the earth,

and knew the art of dying more than life —

but every death reveals a newer birth

that draws the beauty out of troubling strife.

O let my eyes adjust to blackest night —

and in the West, not darkness, only light.


Royal Rhodes is a retired educator. His poems have appeared in numerous journals in the U.S., Canada, and the UK. He lives now in a rural village in Ohio.


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