Thoughts and Prayers
My thoughts and prayers are not enough.
I think about how I wanted to start this poem by quoting
thoughts and prayers from recent tragedies.
I pray the list won’t be as long for someone else
when they start to write a poem like this.
I thought I read an article that said they’ve invented a bot
to say thoughts and prayers for busy politicians.
I pray that the human energy can travel as far
and as fast as coaxial heartchords can.
I thought blood shed at Columbine could be watershed instead,
flood at high tide, ark of civilization afloat and awaiting rainbows.
I prayed - as the Script song says - to a god that I don’t believe in
as the towers fell two by two not two years later.
I thought it would be Sandy Hook. Look. Twenty children gunned
down by twenty year old boy. My daughter was six.
I prayed when a man rented a truck, drove onto path,
trick-or-treaters dressed as monsters, pledged allegiance to murder.
I thought about an eighteen year old boy (man) on a 9/11
classroom floor, asking, “When are we going to nuke them already?”
I prayed that morning for my father at work
on the 70th floor of a Chicago skyscraper.
I thought about teachable moments and Googled
articles about human nature and evil for class discussion.
I pray to Mike Rosen’s “When God Happens” and Norman Stock’s “What I Said."
I think about Kyle Myrhe’s, quicksand, the wood in the backpack, the wood
of a cross, the wood of a chicken coop rough under my hands.
I think about how it took me days to write this poem’s first draft
as a radical and a truck and a bicycle path receded into memory.
I pray that a poem is a diamond thrown into a troubled pond,
rippling it back to stillness, sine waves of sunlight, fractals of faith.
Columbine, Binghamton, Sutherland, Emond, Atlanta, Umpqua, Red Lake, Las Vegas, Orlando, San Bernadino, Geneva, GMAC, Aurora, Fort Hood, Wilks-Barre, Washington Navy Yard, Camden, San Ysidro, Sandy Hook, Luby’s Cafeteria, Virginia Tech, University of Texas,
I think about 17 souls from Parkland.
I pray for 17 souls from Parkland.
I think about what I can do now.
I pray that this poem will obsolete itself.
My thoughts and prayers are