(x = space)



Friends in Foxholes


And when it’s tense

There’s prayer;

When it’s calm

There is thanksgiving

It’s discipline

But of a really easy kind

No one to tell us

That we got it wrong

Not for some centuries, now


Pray with liberality

Remember whom

We’re speaking to

It isn’t Casper

It isn’t Torquemada,


We are free to speak

To someone who has heard

All of it

Maybe we don’t need to talk

And yet I think we do

It’s not a trick or catching

Of a regulation

It signals our participation

If mostly to ourselves

A genie in the story

Might not

Pull away the layers

Assuming, rather

That all humans

Are the same

And so we are


The one or ones

We pray to knows or know it all

Yet will wait beside

To know our knowing

What we want most of all

To say

Gauging will against



This isn’t a trick, either;

If self-correction fails

Well, God can

Work it out

Though it goes better

With our knowing

Or really simply

Something of

A loving interest

Even badly done


And doesn’t that sound

British in a Masterpiece sort

Of way?

Cheer-o, God will

Soldier us on

Well, maybe not

Honesty’s in many


And attitudes, I’m sure,


And we are taken as we are


Slight readiness is all

That’s needed for

The feast,

Though if we’ve forgotten

God will take us, anyway

For what is slight

Might be crucial,

An ill-willed sibling


Waiting by the altar


But sometimes

There is surprise in grace

And anyone is

Welcome in whatever

State come to pray

To ask

Knowing without knowing

(if it comes to that)

That something wonderful

Will happen


C L Couch



by National Museum of the U.S. Navy – 80-G-304819, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=70725677

80-G-304819: Battle for Iwo Jima, February-March 1945. Crouching in a foxhole they share in Iwo Jima are Marine Corporal Virgil S. Burgess and his courier dog, Prince. Burgess is giving instructions to the dog which will shortly jump out of the foxhole and carry a message to another point on the battle field, February 28, 1945. U.S. Navy Photograph now in the collections of the National Archives. (2016/01/19).