“Prayer at Winter Solstice”

Prayer at Winter Solstice poem by Dana Gioia: Winter night scene with snowfall lit by a streetlamp.

Prayer at Winter Solstice

By Dana Gioia

Blessed is the road that keeps us homeless.

Blessed is the mountain that blocks our way.

Blessed are hunger and thirst, loneliness and all forms of desire.

Blessed is the labor that exhausts us without end.

Blessed are the night and the darkness that blinds us.

Blessed is the cold that teaches us to feel.

Blessed are the cat, the child, the cricket, and the crow.

Blessed is the hawk devouring the hare.

Blessed are the saint and the sinner who redeem each other.

Blessed are the dead, calm in their perfection.

Blessed is the pain that humbles us.

Blessed is the distance that bars our joy.

Blessed is this shortest day that makes us long for light.

Blessed is the love that in losing we discover.

Dana Gioia, “Prayer at Winter Solstice” from book 99 Poems: New & Selected, Copyright © 2016 by Dana Gioia. Reprinted with the permission of the author. DanaGioia.com

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