Prayer Flags

When I run out of prayers,
when the weight has become
too much–this weight of being
human, this experiment in
suffering–does God remember
all those prayers I said
when I was young, the claims
I made in youth groups,
around campfires, the reams
of holy words I wrote when
my babies were small,
or the grace whispered around
my mother’s pots of soup?

Did God gather those prayers,
like tattered squares of cloth,
in a basket by her side, ready
to pull them out now as she watches
my fragile thoughts, hears
so many nights of disappointed
silence, ready to string them
onto tender ribbon, prayer flags
to tether me still to her hands?

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