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When, at 1:00 am, our neighbor rises
for his nightly ritual, plinks a bit, then—

perhaps inspired—passionately pounds out
“When I Survey the Wondrous Cross,”

my husband refuses to survey anything,
keeps his eyes shut, plugs his ears. I stumble

to the nearby crib, nurse Baby to (next up)
blind Fanny’s “Blessed Assurance.”

None comes to me. My child accepts the loud
lullabies and coos—eventually. My husband snores

harmony, but by 3:00 am, I’m asking,
“And Can It Be That I Should Gain”

even a second of sleep? Sure, “I Love
to Tell the Story” of “Standing on the Promises,”

but all I can do is “Count My Blessings” until
“Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glory”

of finally 4:00 am, and then, Oh, “Amazing Grace”!
(the practice ends) “There Is a Place of Quiet Rest.”

Previously published in Fare Forward and in Begin with a Question (Paraclete Press, March

Photo by Laura Seaman on Unsplash

Marjorie Maddox

Winner of America Magazine’s 2019 Foley Poetr­­­­­y Prize and Professor of English and Creative Writing at Lock Haven University, Marjorie Maddox has published 11 collections of poetry—including Transplant, Transport, Transubstantiation (Yellowglen Prize); True, False, None of the Above (Illumination Book Award Medalist)Local News from Someplace Else;Perpendicular As I (Sandstone Book Award)—the short story collection What She Was Saying (Fomite); four children’s and YA books—including  Inside Out: Poems on Writing and Readiing Poems with Insider Exercises and A Crossing of Zebras: Animal Packs in Poetry,Rules of the Game: Baseball Poems ,I’m Feeling Blue, Too!Common Wealth: Contemporary Poets on Pennsylvania (co-editor); Presence (assistant editor); and 600+ stories, essays, and poems in journals and anthologies. Forthcoming in 2022 is her book Begin with a Question (Paraclete Press), as well as her ekphrastic collaboration with photographer Karen Elias, Heart Speaks, Is Spoken For (Shanti Arts, 2021). For more information, please see