Monday, August 20, 2012

I Come From

Harley & Jane
So my cute friends over at Harley and Jane have started posting journal prompts every weekend. Usually I'm like "oh that was a nice prompt" but never get around to it. Today I finally did. Albeit in a poem.

         Sagebrush child

A taxi ride to church – for a concert – but the driver shouted out the window,
asking me to pray for him;
I didn’t know how to identify myself as a nonbeliever.

For weeks after I thought of him, of his simple request:
my prayer. Why me? He chose me – of all the people in his cab, he asked for my prayers.
I, who gave up Sunday dresses for coffee shops and red wine; I, who put god in a box
labeled Do Not Open; I, who suffered through Sunday school and Sacrament meeting; I, who


those paralyzing times, when it rained enough to build an ark;
when I wanted to ask everyone to pray for me, to think of me, to practice yoga
for me; when I needed to believe someone thought for me, lest I’d find myself
too weak to carry the knowledge that no one did.

And my heart ached for my cab driver who
needed to believe I prayed for him in a church.

I wanted to build something: a monument, house, or city.
Instead I went all alone toward the mountain, each step forward by a power,
a pain fifteen years solidified. This is what personal grieving looks like:

I knelt, picked up one rock, then another, stacking. Drowning
myself in repetition. Cracks I filled with flowers – red, yellow, purple, white
careful not to damage their stems
or myself.

I found the courage to pray aloud:
I was born in the sagebrush mountains

for summer nights that crickets lulled me to sleep, and
winter’s sound of snow and branches and fallen leaves that
symphonied my lullaby.

I was born to run in the dirt until a thorn caught my heel,
in a place where often the gate was left open; born to learn
at a very young age that anything can come through
good or bad:

warm heart, broken heart.
I was born
to be there
in beauty and fury
under that twofisted bluesky

in view, at hand -

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