This week’s poem, Eileen Griffin’s “Finding Praise,” finds us in a late summer stillness and solace. I love the clarity of this poem’s images, and the simple yet profound offering of its praise.

Griffin fell in love with poetry early on, with Mother Goose. She has been a teacher of students in preschool through late adolescence, as well as a teacher educator. She and her husband started a national educational center to help schools implement developmentally appropriate educational practices. Before retiring, she worked with public television in the areas of early childhood education and programming. Now, she is retired and seriously learning, studying and practicing the craft of poetry.

Finding Praise
By Eileen Griffin

Last days of summer, sun already low in the sky.
I meander an old country road as it winds through fields
ripe with harvest. Nothing stirs. In the distance, the cawing
of crows and the lonesome sound of crickets.

The road begins to rise and there, at the top of the hill
I see them — the little stone schoolhouse and, by its side,
an enormous oak; standing as sentinels over the land,
the family farms, the valley below – old friends these two.

I sit with them. They offer much and take nothing.
When young, I was instructed to praise God.
Easy enough to do. Praise came in little prayer books
for small hands to hold, tender minds to memorize.

August moon creeps over the horizon.
An evening breeze stirs.
I lift my head in praise.

Megan Grumbling is a poet and writer who lives in Portland. Deep Water: Maine Poems is produced in collaboration with the Maine Writers & Publishers Alliance. “Finding Praise,” copyright 2021 by Eileen Griffin, appears by permission of the author.

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or login first for digital access. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.

filed under: