Passing on Grace
by George Bishop

The word and the act at dinner became unclear—
the goodwill of allowing everyone equal portions

seemed more meaty, the secret recipe of something-
battered fish closer to the prayer we all prayed

differently. If you kept yours open you could watch
each eye making corrections beneath lightly veined

lids, weighing something, spices maybe. Once, over
dessert, someone even asked me if I believed God

could change His mind—ghost-quick I began
sniffing through my bible backyards where the dog

inside has always buried such bones. Not sure,
I told him without telling him as he told me

he wasn’t sure what he meant, passed on grace,
said some things could’ve been better. I wanted

to know what they were but knew translations
are all that reach us, hearsay our hidden selves

speak. A god-nod filled my heart like a well
deserved belch, heaven moving away in perfect

circles of empty plates. Breakfast soon, eggs up
making more perfect circles, and there’s obedience

at a cave wall painting fire to stone, blowing it
for words. Praise the birds in the morning, all

the sounds they have for light, all the light
in their sounds. Amen.

George Bishop’s latest work appears in New Plains Review & Lunch Ticket. New work will be included in Naugatuck River Review and The Penwood Review. Bishop is the author of four chapbooks, most recently “Old Machinery” from Aldrich Publishing. His full length collection, “Expecting Delays” will be released by FutureCycle Press in 2013. He attended Rutgers University and now lives and writes in Kissimmee, Florida.