Blessing the house for departure
The suitcases are outside the door.
The handbag and the umbrella.
Just time to touch the doorjamb
and say the departing prayer.
God bless this house and all
who live in it. Have lived,
will live. May it stand
savouring the touch of this prayer
as roses fade in a vase
as light falls on the dust
on a table. As night
lowers its eyelids, then opens
them to regard a new vacant day.
No chatelaine with keys
could do more than this final
touch of the hand, making
a furtive cross on the doorpost
or going into each of the rooms
breathing prayer on the photographs
on dressers, blessing the paintings
to keep their eyes open, to know
they are regarded and prayed over
now the house is properly closed
and the taxi is heard in the drive.