Oh, to imagine I’m shielding You, when You’re
secure as a chant in a red hymnal,
hope of our eyes. You step away on sure
voices, in a child’s throat made for canticle.

Oh, to dream I’m some ardent sentinel
bearing the moon on my watch, between a church
and a fire, when it’s You who lifts the torch,
clears the tares, so that we might see the stones

pointing home. You pick Your way through the scorch,
calling stragglers—     Oh, those dallying bones.


Edvard Munch, Moonlight on the Shore, oil on canvas, 1892