‘A Ragged Place’ – A Poem For This Weekend

A Ragged Place

Prayer, says Mary Oliver, doesn’t have to be akin to “the blue Iris.”

It could be something very ordinary ”like weeds in a vacant lot.”


We walked a vacant lot this week,

Buddy and I,

on a blustering, bone chilling January day.

It was a ragged place

where once apartments stood and

our Deb and her newly wed Craig lived

the first year of their marriage.

Czar found them one night, sniffed them

from a mile away,

and sauntered down the road

to paw at their door about three a.m.


Now it is that vacant lot, crumbled,

only discolored pieces of concrete

set in hard ground,

some wizened stalks

leaning into the wind,

sticking out of holes

like burned out candles

in a flattened wedding cake.

It will be vacant, vagrant we might say,

until some fine new place

will rise up.


But for me it is not truly vacant.

The voices of a bride,

a groom, a dog,

will always call out

when I walk by.


Leighton Ford, January 2016

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