Monday, February 22, 2010

Devout Petition

I never prayed.
Not even when I was younger,
and the priest sat in that darkened room
and I stood behind him or in front of him
trying to think of things to say. Things to be sorry for.

I never prayed.
Not when I got older
and stood at the graves of friends,
and walked away from twisted heaps of metal
Iron girders bent like sculpture, glass like torn leaves, machines like dancers.

I never prayed.
Not when we found out about the sickness
Not when the arrangements were made.
Not when the priest asked us to bow our heads.

I never prayed.
I wouldn’t know what to ask for.
I don’t think I believe in salvation.
I believe in being here and falling.
I believe in finding and losing and finding again.
I believe in quiet and dedicated pursuit.
I believe in losing direction.
And sometimes, I believe in love.
Little love, mind you.
Like being touched when you don’t expect it.
Small moments, not absolution.
An unexpected kindness,
a quiet, like a petition,
an entreaty,
a prayer.

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