Prayer for a Prayer by a Nonbeliever

I saw a fellow praying
by a sandwiched city church,
his eyes screwed up and swaying
on that sort-of parrot perch.

A comic picture, nearly,
he presented to me. Still
he kept mouthing on sincerely,
letting words in silence spill.

Through the smelly candlesmoke
I watched him, earnest, there,
and, reaching deep for habit, spoke
a prayer for his prayer:

Please see it have safe passage
from this clump of clay and sod
up through the spheres of heaven
to the crowded ear of God.

I can’t speak for ‘answered’…
maybe the wish is absurd,
but, for the sake of whatever is Good—
let it at least be heard.


Daniel Galef

Daniel Galef is a writer from Montreal whose poetry has appeared in Measure Review, The Lyric, the Christian Century, the Scrivener Creative Review, New York Magazine, and the Raintown Review.


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