Job’s Tears

by Robert Peake

Once, I was more than this rosary –
finger-polished white translucence
streaked with devotional smoke: I remember
leaves unfurled like sails, stalks
bending in damp heat, droplets ripening,
calcified grief.

I recall the stillness of children
hiding in tall grass, mothers
calling over the wail of crickets, playing
together and apart.

I survived everything: the cutting
away of tenderness, stripped
for kindling under a summer moon.
Only the seeds remained, pearls
of memory polished by wind,
the hands of the harvester trembling.


Robert Peake studied poetry at U.C. Berkeley and in the Master of Fine Arts in Writing program at Pacific University, Oregon. His poems have appeared in North American Review and Poetry International. Robert writes about poetry on his website at