I Have So Many Prayers Still Unspoken

I’ve Got So Many Prayers Still Unspoken


they bottleneck behind my teeth.

And my tongue is that one traffic cop

motioning on those prayers, like

c’mon now, folks, let’s move this along!

And she’s switching worn out arms,

switching between a wave and a waggle

of the beckoning hand, trying whatever

and trying not to look over her shoulder

at the shattered glass & twisted metal,

trying not to acknowledge disaster.

Because my prayers have been in gridlock,

sitting there in growing heat for what

might be years, & my prayers are honking,

prayers are hollering out their windows,

merging sharply without blinkers but

outstretched fingers, stomping their feet

on either pedal, every one just burning

with the need to go (Dear God, let’s go!)

until they finally see that accident,

still too recent,

and they stop honking, roll back up

their windows, even if the A/C’s fritzing,

put their hands in the 10 & 2 position.

Maybe some prayers call those prayers

back home, softly saying Hey baby

I miss you. Did I tell you I love you

before I left for work? I got stuck

in traffic, dunno when I’ll get there.

Hopefully soon, but maybe not.

Because my prayers are swing-swift

& 9-to-5-vers, long haul truckers

and Uber drivers, all trying to get

somewhere like the Trade Towers

or to Fukushima Daiichi, Ferguson,

to that clusterfuck called D.C.

But my poor traffic cop tongue

never gets to know if the prayers

behind the stop & go of her trembling

hands are just delayed or so rerouted

as to be useless. I mean, who’d ever

circle back to say? Prayers rush on

and the traffic cop tongue must stay.

For she is only one,

& there are so many more prayers

bottlenecked & idling,

because of this, the pile-up

we call the world,

and she can’t stop, she can’t

call a break but must

usher the closet prayer on,

the next one already

in the corner of her eye.  


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