“The Lord Almighty grant us a peaceful night
and a perfect end. Amen.”
—Book of Common Prayer
With curtains in each cloistered bedroom drawn
against the shine of lights that line the streets,
we settle in for compline with a yawn.
Young Oliver is first: he’s blessed with peace;
I sing of peace, too, like a river, then
hold him while he slowly drifts downstream.
Now Jack: A prayer and song, then we begin
our sacred work of whispered conversation,
rehearsing each day’s joys and pains again.
Both boys receive a matching benediction:
that God would bless and keep them through the night,
that each might live to see his children’s children —
and then a forehead kiss. I dim the lights
and whisper from the hall a hushed “Goodnight.”
© 2021 Josh Bishop