Rain slows and it's mid-morning. Spiritual alms barely recognized. Rust-colored maple leaves fallen on the shiny black macadam. Corn stalks droop, lashed to a porch rail, sad and forgotten, facing winter alone. My father and how he loved old cars and how I would take him to antique car shows, the two of us walking back and forth, lost in thoughts of our own making. At a late juncture one realizes an affiliation with wrens helps more than the one with chickadees and wonders what other insights lie ahead. Department store Christmas carols. Masked angels. Rabbit stew, breakfast sausage made with bear meat. Losses, lawfulness. Lauds. My heart lives in the troubles and declines all aid and yet goes on. When you heft the lamp, how far does its circle of warm light go? Broken, unbroken, put back together - who can say at this late and getting later juncture? I remember hours alone on the shores of Lake Champlain, gazing at faraway New York, rehearsing even then my relationship with distance. This prayer like the others goes unanswered. And yet.