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Sunday Prayer


Sundays are my favorite days.
They are sacred in a way I never found in the mosque of my father or
on the cross that so many like to wear around their neck.
On Sundays
I am not just some minuscule speck
in the universe-            I am a woman
who vacuums her apartment so that
God has a good place to sit.
I turn my home into a temple
and hold a ceremony so simple that
when the Buddha walks in He grins with approval.
One by one, in they come:
Him and Her and They and Them,
none requiring the removal of shoes.
We take up the floor
and talk and talk and talk without words
and then grow silent,
so the only sounds to not be heard
are the slow footsteps of a single set of lungs.
After my mind has had its fill of quiet
I pray- this time
in a one-way conversation of me begging for favors
I could never repay with any coin or bill:
I promise I will smile at every child and
when I want the last piece of cake I will still
leave it on the tray for someone else.
All day into tonight and even now while I write,
I have a special type of request:
give those strangers in white
a steady hand and clear sight
while they play and poke around inside my sister.
Let them untwist her spine
and put her heart back in its place
and fix her legs so they don’t buckle when she’s trying to wash the dishes.
Remind them while they move things  that
just before the morphine
she was innocent as Alice making wishes to be strong.
don’t let anything go wrong in those six hours
to last longer than any day I’ve known.
Endless, all day
this type of prayer that terrifies and closes eyes
against the sight of dark what ifs.

I love you,
but your gift of Monday that waits outside my door
is not one that I’m sure I want to open.


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