This Poem is the Closest I'll Ever Get to Prayer

I’ve never been able to bow my head long enough to pray

Too consumed by the urge to peek

I’ve always been more concerned with what was going on around me –

Avian ladies in elaborate hats, toddlers tucked into uncomfortable church clothes,

Another child, equally restless, catching my eye from across the chapel –

And less concerned with what was going on above

I wanted an electric sermon, emotionally charged and thundering

But the preaching turned out as dry and bland as the wafer I held out my small hands to receive

Since I was eight, churches just haven’t seemed like home

I was an interloper into something too intimate

And after I lost faith in Santa Claus, God didn’t last much longer

You see, it’s not that I haven’t tried to believe

Faith seems like a warm blanket


But it was one that never fit right wrapped around my shoulders

I’m not one for miracles or magic

And this was still the case when I found myself in cavernous hospital rooms

Wishing I had somebody to pray to

Even fear couldn’t force faith into me

In church, I’ve never seen anything more divine than a stained glass window

But if I had to picture God

I’d see him as a drive-in movie screen

Lit up with the faces of everyone who’s ever taken a breath of this atmosphere

And if I prepared an image of Jesus

He’d be my table at Thanksgiving

With as many dishes stacked on top as the creaking legs will bear

And so many chairs gathered around that there’s hardly enough room to move your elbows

And if I had to describe an angel

I’d tell you about the one time my little sister took her best friend’s hand

As if the two of them belonged linked together

Even though they grew up calling God by different names


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