Prayers at Sea-level – a poem by Cassy Dorff

Prayers at Sea-level

The fourth season
swallows leaves,
glooms inner rooms
and tugs at the
corners of daylight.
Yet come renewal,	
grief’s work cannot bloom
without love and
we cannot love
without the hot
magic of wakefulness.
Let hooded mergansers
send sizzling
bliss into your flesh and ease
winter off clenched
Watch a kingfisher
grip crayfish,
see the pond
expand: life 
spotlights beneath
the sun.
We learned to fish creeks
with bamboo poles,
caught grasshoppers
and knocked rocks into a roil
of moccasins.
A cry for help can be joyful too.
You might not know
the rituals
of your ancestors
or how morning can shade
itself into evening blue.
But you can kneel on the banks
in celebration and
knead devotion into the earth.

Cassy Dorff lives in Nashville, Tennessee and teaches courses about politics, data science and writing as an assistant professor of Political Science. Cassy’s poetry is published at and Rust + Moth; academic research publications can be found at the Journal of PoliticsJournal of Peace Research and other outlets.

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