Prayer

“Repeat this prayer 10 times,

send it to 15 friends.

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Within 3 days you will receive a blessing

you have been waiting for.”

Who is this God, I wonder, who people think

has to be begged, cajoled,

and manipulated

into caring for his children?

He is not my God.

Still, it makes no sense, what we call prayer.

Me, six times on bended knee pleading

for my daughter’s unborn babies

and each time only blood and death.

“What father whose child asks for bread

would hand him a stone?”

Indeed.

All the while I hear my mother’s mantra,

“I prayed to St. Anthony and found my keys,”

The steadfast creed of those

secure in their on-the-job God.

Who is this God, then, this finder of keys,

Who attends to household needs

but ignores a mother’s strangled cries?

I cannot imagine, but this I know:

That is not my God.

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