Poem: Receiving Prayers

May-June 2016



Jon Lezinsky
One might arrive on a balmy day, a calm surf
of sky overhead, the clouds enfolding themselves
as if there were no one else but themselves to love,
sinking and surfacing, embracing their own pale
gray hue like the gray under-down of snowy owls,
their blue like the fade of violet in a glacial
crevasse, the white sky of a gray sun so far away.
A prayer I fully recognize.


Another prayer might appear as the glistening
edge of a green tendril curled around the thin
wire of its fence, holding on with a purity of focus
and intention that validates the universe;
another during the blind of a moonless night,
the way every star, without breath, breathes
light. Is receiving a prayer a reply?

Once a promise came as the taste of butter
on fresh corn shucked and grilled, once
as the fragrance of white gardenia tied with white
ribbon, once a silent pleading prayer, loud
in its ferocity, when I saw a man stomp a small
snake, its open mouth helpless against his boot.
From whence come such messages?

Yesterday, again, within a snow-filled forest
of pine, every hard ice-covered spear of life and I
alert, motionless, listening . . . one scarce slip
of snow, resounding.

— Pattiann Rogers


PATTIANN ROGERS is an award-winning American poet and author of numerous poetry collections. Her most recent, Holy Heathen Rhapsody, was published by Penguin Books in 2013. She lives in Colorado.

Receiving Prayers

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