They said they’d pray for me,
warmed and discomforted me.
“Pray for us sinners” echoed
“Get down on your knees and pray”
in pyjamas by the bedside,
after I leant on the drawing room sofa
reciting five decades of the rosary
looking towards the fireplace, coal box, chess books and bibles.
Now mother’s accepted she’s the one who’ll do the praying.
No more pushing, she’s done her best.
My friend with cancer wrote
“I’ve prayed for my health and yours,
five times a day,
A hummingbird whispered
“Surely you can say ‘I pray for you’
Shame on you.”
Like a guilty child I stumbled
“May your heart be warmed by the love you give to others.”
(I wish I’d added “… and yourself.“)
By the river that washed the soles of Bernadette
“Every step of my way’s a prayer
offered in hope,
in celebration of tickling mysteries.”
Now I stand in prayer, warm and discomforted,
my way, this day.