Approaching Mystery: Late Night Deck Sentence in the Rain

(Image: Moonlight by Edward Steichen via Wikimedia Commons)
(Image: Moonlight by Edward Steichen via Wikimedia Commons)

Once I loved the world, or thought I did, I prayed every night, read parts of the Bible, took my mind to school every day, but lived for summer and boats, fished all day by myself, sat cross-legged in huts of pine and leaves, breathed fire and smoke back in the tall trees behind the cottage, watched the stars in the sky and their reflections on the lake, made a promise to myself never to give up my 8 year old heart, looked at the days ahead of me as just that, days, thousands of them rolling out like clouds, moving toward me … tonight there is only the drip of a steady July evening rain, no fire to breathe, my heart resting, close to limp in the cradle of my body, and those days, those days went by, passed on, and that promise to my heart, that promise festers now and then, even flares up occasionally, so tonight I write a poem in the mud, knowing it will appear and then disappear as it is written, perfect in its lack of truly being.

Michael Delp is a poet and a river demigod who enjoys catching old episodes of Fulton Sheen’s Life is Worth Living on the radio in the wilds of Northern Michigan. His most recent book is Lying in the River’s Dark Bed.  Read more of Michael Delp for Sick Pilgrim at


“Approaching Mystery” is a regular feature on Sick Pilgrim curated by Joanna Penn Cooper in which we post vignettes that dwell on the mystery of the everyday, that hang in an unresolved (and unresolvable) space of wonder and unknowability.
Read more of “Approaching Mystery” at

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