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Father Rodney

By Richard Pierce Poetry

In the ancient Greek, “liturgy” means “work done for the people.” Someone calls around 9:30, as he’s brushing his teeth for bed. An Orthodox in a nursing home has passed in McKeesport, and the priest is out of town. Up since five, he drives the hour north, prays for the soul, anoints the body. Earlier,…

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Salt of Sodom

By Richard Pierce Poetry

Ancient salt burned in the Temple incense, but also consumed. Mined, gathered from flats or evaporated Dead Sea brine— theories vary. So strong, hands were washed after meals because a careless touch to the eye could cause blindness. Lord, make us this pungent, that others might be thrown down blind, lifted up at the sight…

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Go Gentle

By Richard Pierce Poetry

What good is fighting now? You’re dying. Light will greet you wherever you go. Or it will not. Go gentle into that good night. Why rage against your sleep another night with fists that won’t unclench the twisted sheet? What good is fighting now? Your dying light shines its blossom of sharpened bones. Your plight,…

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