Friday, August 10, 2007

The Word That Is A Prayer


by Ellery Akers

One thing you know when you say it:
all over the earth people are saying it with you;
a child blurting it out as the seizures take her,
a woman reciting it on a cot in a hospital.
What if you take a cab through the Tenderloin:
at a streetlight, a man in a wool cap,
yarn unraveling across his face, knocks at the window;
he says, Please.
By the time you hear what he's saying,
the light changes, the cab pulls away,
and you don't go back, though you know
someone just prayed to you the way you pray.
Please: a word so short
it could get lost in the air
as it floats up to God like the feather it is,
knocking and knocking, and finally
falling back to earth as rain,
as pellets of ice, soaking a black branch,
collecting in drains, leaching into the ground,
and you walk in that weather every day.

photo by bill

2 comments:

Gabrielle said...

This is very moving, Lucy. You paint a picture of the fragility and vulnerability of the "please", and the tenderness of a compassionate response.

I pray, also, that I may be able to see, more and more, the "please" in the eyes, and hear it in the spirit, even if it is never spoken.

lucy said...

thank you, gabrielle; and please do not be mistaken...i am NOT the author of these words only the purveyor this time.

and, yes, the "please" is always there, isn't it?