“Child of the Secret God” by Christopher Raley

When I was asleep in the dark heat,
A dove cooed and woke me.
When I blanched with sweat on my sheets,
A breeze stirred in the oak.

When I was lost for want of love,
I had met her years before.
When I felt a touch on my shoulder,
I found her where she’d been.

When they despised me for a dime,
They were hidden from my view.
When they praised me for my works,
I had changed very little.

When I drove that road ‘tween hills and river,
I never thought of life or death.
When he crashed in the tangle of trees,
I was the man that drove him home.

When I was guilty and covering my deeds,
The Ghost came hard on my mind.
He directs the secret traces of my actions.
He haunts the secret corners of my motivation.

A basket with a baby inside slides onto the breeze-touched river.
Crocodiles swim hungrily in the sun.
I was born into a world of doom, but for the wind,
Which nudged me towards the gently bending reeds.


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