seem right when another’s lost to words, to look,
and touch; when her suffering’s so acute she can
barely move. You gather your heart-thoughts and say them

silently, lofting the supplication upward
with the million others intoned that second, hoping
that a source starward and more potent than earthly

agency can bring help. And each time the pain comes
you pray again, until you resemble a medieval
monk, the plea for succor in every breath.