Some days, although we cannot pray, a prayer
utters itself. So, a woman will lift
her head from the sieve of her hands and stare
at the minims sung by a tree, a sudden gift.
Some nights, although we are faithless, the truth
enters our hearts, that small familiar pain;
then a man will stand stock-still, hearing his youth
in the distant Latin chanting of a train.
Pray for us now. Grade I piano scales console
the lodger looking out across a Midlands town.
Then dusk, and someone calls a child's name
as though they named their loss.
Darkness outside. Inside, the radios prayer -
Rockall. Malin. Dogger. Finisterre.
Carol Ann Duffy, Mean Time (Anvil, 1993)