Welcome to Sunday Morning Lyricality, featuring a weekly song or poem by a Minnesota writer. Our current guest editor is Beth Spencer.

Donna Isaac’s timely and beautiful poem, “End of November,” was written on the day the Coviddeaths in Minnesota reached 100. It reminds us of the constancy and comfort that Nature extends to all of us: sky, water, wind, and pine], especially in these difficult times. She prompts us to recall that prayer can be anywhere: inside or out, in the flight of an eagle or the crisp edge of a creamy pie.

Beth Spencer

End of November
Donna Isaac

Near a trifurcated trunk at pond’s edge
in a sliver of open water,
a gulping mouth rose up
to consume something
still alive, sere oak leaves afloat. 

A good sign, this,
with over 100 deaths
in a single day
in a country silent
except wind in pine.

A walk by the Mississippi yesterday,
a lone bald eagle circled
the noiseless woods.

Is this surrender?

Inside, the work of pie,
cutting shortening into flour,
crimping edges, dollops of cream.

Outside, what is meant to be.

Prayer can happen without thought,
hammer of heart, wistful looking,
grace, hunger exalted.


Poet Donna Isaac is a teaching artist who organizes community readings and workshops in the Twin Cities, Minnesota; she curates and hosts the reading series, Literary Lights. Donna works with Cracked Walnut (League of MN Poets’ chapter). Published poetry work includes Footfalls (Pocahontas Press); Tommy (Red Dragonfly Press); Holy Comforter (Red Bird Chapbooks); and Persistence of Vision (Finishing Line Press). Her work also appears in literary journals such as The Tishman Review, The Saint Paul Almanac, and The Penn Review. Visit her website: donnaisaacpoet.com.