New to the hymnal,
I fumbled forward, note by note, unsure
which stone in the river
to step on next. The water rumbled with centuries
of voices, and under
the book, our fingers touched, sparking
a descant that flowed out
into next year. When the priest called “Lift up
your hearts,” she sounded
like hers was held already in God’s hand.
And when I heard
the gravel rasp in your throat, a little flat,
even though one bass
note swelled behind me, and a tenor to the right
shifted his weight,
it was your scrape of rocks on riverbed
that ferried me
downstream, that carried me into the land.
Hannah Faith Notess attends Seattle
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