Opening the psalms,
          letting in whole days
                    between lying down
in the shade of a valley
          and a path’s steep climb.

Opening to the psalms
          that don’t seem like psalms
                    and the ones that do,
that send roots into the river like
          weeping overheard.

The wrist of a psalm.
          A garment being torn.
                    The plowman’s psalm.
The warrior’s. The prisoner’s.
          The king’s.

The seeds of a psalm
          lost to us, lost in time
                    on a hill of apricot trees
overlooking a city
          with its alleys, its gates

opening to the psalms the way
          folded paper flowers
                    open from a shell
dropped in a glass of water,
          swaying open, blossoming.

Jennifer Barber is the author of the poetry collection Rigging the Wind and the forthcoming Given Away, and has been the recipient of a Pushcart Prize. She lives in Brookline, Massachusetts.