Patricia Alford : Minaret

Fall '07 TOC


In the morning she prays

that the babies will sleep in
that the goat will not put her foot in the pail
and the cream will clabber and the bread rise

At noon she prays

that her feet not swell
that the yarn not tangle
that the goat stay out of the garden
and the dog out of the hen house

At mid-afternoon

a quiet prayer
shhh the baby is sleeping again
Her prayer is no more
than the lazuli bunting atop that young cedar

At sunset she prays

for a glass of wine
a space to breathe
for the dust to settle
and the cool stars to appear

The evening prayer is not the same
as before stretches the long night
Her work is done, but not finished
Tomorrow it will still be there
but for now it is hidden by the shadows
cast by a single candle
The minaret is a candle, nothing more
but by its light she can see
the whole world sleeping

Prayer is done with the hands

only now does she put them palm to palm



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