a prayer is the beat of a heart (audio 3:02)

Screaming crow, 1918, Jan Mankes

a prayer is just another way of saying yes,
to beneficial outcomes
to the mist of a dew-filled morning
to the rise of the question and the answer deferred
to so-called obstacles designed to keep you on your way

a prayer is a vision upheld – no more, no less,
a promise that spring will arrive on the heels of darkness
deep aches will come to overflow
with a most succulent satisfaction
or perhaps the yearning never will pass
merely soften to a lesser sharpness

prayer is scarcely more than a confluence
of whispers on the air,
an agreement to search out lingering joy
within an inhospitable field
a willingness to receive what is offered,
to turn aside inapt fruits clearly destined for another
the acceptance of that which you do not recall ordering
yet here it is on your doorstep all the same

a prayer is but a song,
whose every word pines to be bathed
in lustrous moonlight
the dance that has not yet attained heavenly grace
a bud whose seeds can only anticipate the flowering
a summer day whose full-throated sun
has not yet sounded its most irradiant tone,
a tree whose roots and leaves quicken
to mimic the branched arc
of a cloudless sky

a prayer is the beat of a heart that sings through the rain,
a cry, a call, the kiss of a supposition
the rapt stillness between breaths
the glance long remembered, the echoing chord

a moment reconstituted in a solemn gesture of surrender,
embrace of all things, attachment to none.

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