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                    Night Prayer by Sally Read


Don’t think the night’s all deadness—there are wells

of light and dark, and many kinds of silence. Tonight


the snow breathes light and three large hares, white


on white, are munching left-out carrots, lolloping trails


of nothing in a silky, new-ink silence. It’s the silence


of how your hair would sound when it rises on your scalp.


It wakes the hermit; that and the beating heart of Christ


that pushes through the night like a boat through


brackish waters. There is no chapel-bell, no tramping march


of monks. Just one mind in the wooden room, apiece


with the fresh-ink hush. Thoughts are indivisible


from prayer; speech inseparable from silence and his heart


which echoes endlessly with what God spoke. He rises.


The snow-light seethes around him, like insomnia or love.

Sally Read was hermitage poet in residence from 2011-2021. The poems that she wrote during this period are available in her collection Dawn of this Hunger, published by Angelico Press and Second Spring, which took first place at the Catholic Media Awards in 2022. The story of Sally's conversion, which took place under the guidance of Fr Hrynkiw, is available as Night's Bright Darkness from Ignatius Press. Sally's website is 


copyright Sally Read 2016: If you wish to use this material please contact The Asketerion for permission

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