I’m not much for church-y praying.
Especially the kind where you say
somebody else’s words,
expecting them to snag off you
like a match
dragged across the sandpaper
of your particular circumstances
so as to flare right up to heaven,
lighting your miseries
for some of God’s attention.
But when a siren’s whine cuts close
I can’t keep myself from passing words through
my chest to add whatever holiness I possess,
saying “oh Lord give em strength,”
before turning back to shelling peas
or stacking firewood.
And I think it’s like prayer
to farm, mindful
that plants and animals
need to be exactly what they are,
seeing as nature is God drawing circles
for us to learn the shape of things.
Still, when I pass a big dairy farm
where hundreds of cows never walk in sunshine,
never eat green grass
growing so close they can smell it,
never get to suckle their calves,
I put in mind the quiet peace
of our own cows on pasture,
and I send that peace out
to every confined creature.
If that’s prayer,
then I’m the praying kind.
Published in the poetry collection, Tending.