Hour of approach, hour of silence.

The brother sets down his axe in the woods.


The sister sets down her glasses on the table

and waits in the moment before prayer

that throbs from the tolling of the bell.

Shadows swallow shadows in the frigid air.

Hour of departure.

Ledgers toted, windows shuttered.

Late heading homeward, children

do not stop to play on the walk.

The wind stills, the sun

in the brief moment before it sets

catches a row of white houses in its flare.

From under the hedges, the heart of the firs,

darkness rises—the blue hour.

Time stops for breath, breathes.

Ovens are lit, then streetlamps, porches.

It starts to snow. It will snow all night.

Comments are automatically closed two weeks after an article's initial publication. See our comments policy for more.


The latest from america

The students in Kenya understood in the most visceral way the value of water. The misuse of natural resources during our age of climate change is unethical and inhuman. No matter your world view, water is special. Kids get this.
Veronica GaylieApril 22, 2019
We are delighted to invite you to join us on our America Media journey through the land of saints and scholars, from October 20 to 28, 2019. 
Matt Malone, S.J.April 22, 2019
In the wake of the fire, perhaps today’s “cultured despisers” of religion will come to appreciate how devotion to Notre Dame has been a wellspring of Western civilization as we know it.