And God Bless God ~ Chris Haven


The late sun unyielding my son

asks can I look and when I say

no he tips back flicking his eyes

testing the sky for a safe edge.

The adult eye can navigate

the light. He threads his hand in mine.


I lead like I do in the night.

He says he likes the sound of light

when the switch turns on and says, plot.

With my hand on his head he prays

the things he doesn’t understand

but after the recitation


of the family names he will say

in a sure voice …and God bless God.

In my head I explain blessing

the top and the bottom of it,

the lead and the follow of it,

but it never reaches his ears.


One morning he helps me water

the grass he sprays the lower leaves

of our tree to make it grow big

the water he says touches the sky

so high and he laughs when it tricks

like silver down to his eyes.


When it comes time to put the hose

down I find a halting tempo

on the sprinkler that scatters up

like praise, fingers of water

raising hosannas to the sky.

Water rises in the glaring.


 I can’t see the water falling

it rises Godward and the ground

below us blackens, turns to mud

the fallen voice, the germ and seed,

every drop wrought and every

note lifted in wayward blessing.