dear lord in this time of darkness
help us see the darkness

dear lord help us to not pretend
no more pretending

dear lord may our gaze be defenseless
and unshardable

teach us the piety of the open eye

dear lord in this time of darkness
may we be unafraid to mourn and together and hugely

may dignity lose its scaffolding
faces crumble like bricks

dear lord let grief come to grief

and then o lord help us to see the bees yet in the lavender
the spokes of sunlight down through the oaks

and the sleep-opened face of the beloved
and the afternoon all around her
and her small freckled hands

Teddy Macker teaches a variety of creative writing workshops and literature classes at the University of California, Santa Barbara. His own writings—poems, short stories, essays, and translations—appear widely: the Antioch Review, New Letters, Orion, the Southern Humanities Review, The Massachusetts ReviewThe Sun, various anthologies, and elsewhere. Among his honors is the Reginald S. Tickner Creative Writing Fellowship of the Gilman School in Baltimore. His first book of poetry—This World (foreword by Brother David Steindl-Rast)—was published in March of 2015 through White Cloud Press. An orchardist, he lives with his wife and two daughters on a small farm in Carpinteria, California.